Google Confirms Two Indexing Outages

Google’s Danny Sullivan announced via Twitter that Google Search has been impacted by two kinds of outages. The first outage affects mobile indexing. The second outage involves canonicalization which affected how duplicate content was being handled and shown in the search results, including syndicated content.

The announcement follows a week of anecdotal reports from the SEO community of dropped URLs.

today experienced multiple dropped URLs. Submitting the URLs back via Google Search Console seemed to get them back into Google’s index.

Google Explains Outage

Google SearchLiaison aka Danny Sullivan took to Twitter to explain the outage:

Indexing Issues Have Been Going on For a Week

There have been multiple reports on Twitter about web pages dropped by Google.

When web pages drop that means they’re no longer in the search results.

For example, this publisher tweeted to John Mueller when he asked for URL examples:

There were many other reports of home pages being dropped from Google’s index.

This tweeted report is typical:

Canonicalization Indexing Issue

The canonicalization issue appears to be an issue with how Google was handling web pages that were cited or copied by other pages.

This resulted in the original web page not showing in the search results.

Earlier in the day, someone who said they were from The Daily Caller Reported issues with pages that weren’t showing for searches. They reported that web pages that were citing their articles were showing but that The Daily Caller was not.

The Daily Caller tweeted to Danny how Bing and DuckDuckGo got it right but Google did not.

Later in the day when it was apparent that there was also a canonicalization issue, Danny Sullivan tweeted that Google had discovered what was the problem:

Good News

It’s been days that publishers and SEOs have been discussing indexing issues. The problems appeared to be worsening over the weekend, becoming more widespread today.

It’s good news that Google has identified the problems and is working to solve them.

This is a breaking story. This article will be updated as soon as more information develops.