Google Hits Publishers With Another Indexing Issue, Now Resolved

Google confirmed late Wednesday that it resolved another indexing bug that may have caused "stale search results" in some instances to serve up in queries related to breaking news.

The latest bug may explain why some people were getting results in the latest top stories from 2015 and 2018.

As of early Thursday morning, some publishers were still experiencing issues in getting their website content indexed. It appears that Google took several hours to index any new content, compared to the typical speed of indexing new content within minutes.

Gary Illyes, Google webmaster trends analyst, tweeted: “I don’t expect data loss.”

Google has experienced several indexing and deindexing issues in the past couple of months. The prior bugs surfaced in early April 2019.

The latest bug effected publishers and their advertisers that depend on breaking news.

One previous bug stopped online publishers from indexing and serving up content in Google News. Another deindexing bug surfaced prior to this one that caused website pages to drop out of Google’s index.

The biggest challenges comes when publishers heavily rely on Google for website traffic rather than build out a strategy that includes Bing and other search engines as well as direct traffic and/or subscriptions to the site. That strategy also should include a mobile app.

Subscription services also help eliminate the effects of Google indexing bugs. Bloomberg in 2017, for example, reported The Wall Street Journal’s traffic from Google fell 44% after is increased its paid subscription business. And while the traffic from the search engine fell, direct traffic and subscription services soared.

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