In the past few weeks, the SEO community has noticed indexing issues from a few URLs that appeared to start on September 23rd and 24th. This Google bug appears to be swapping out one URL with another completely unrelated URL for numerous different websites. This causes fluctuations in search results and the tracking tools you use for SEO. This issue has mainly been seen in Google’s mobile indexing.
What is Google Indexing?
Before we delve any deeper, we should explain what Google indexing is and how it works. According to Google, “a page is indexed by Google if it has been visited by the Google crawler (“Googlebot”), analyzed for content and meaning, and stored in the Google index.” In other words, the Google index helps determine how your site is ranked on specific Google searches.
Google has Confirmed the Issue
On Twitter, Google confirmed the issue through it’s Search Liaison account. This came 10 days after people started to come forward with the issue.
They have also confirmed that this appears to be a mainly mobile-indexing issue.
Google has said that they are working to fix this, albeit several days after the issue was first reported. They have not confirmed how this started nor how many URLs have been affected.
What does this mean for you?
As a business owner, this affects you because if one of your URLs is affected, you will not be ranking on Google. Your SEO strategy includes using these indexes to help boost your website on search engines. With this bug in effect, your website could see a decline in its ranking and traffic.
Unfortunately, at this time there is nothing that anyone is able to do, except for Google. They have apologized for this issue and are working to fix it, however, the issue has been going on for over a week now. All we can do is wait it out and hope that they resolve this soon.