SEO

Google Search is investigating reports of delayed indexing issues

Google posted an indexing issue with Google Search, saying it is investigating reports of indexing delays for content. Google said this issue is “affecting a small number of sites” and they are “working on identifying the root cause.”

What Google wrote. Google posted, “Google is investigating reports about delayed indexing in Google Search that’s affecting a small number of sites. We’re working on identifying the root cause. Next update will be within 12 hours.”

Google also posted these responses on X:

Started early this morning. The reports of these indexing issues started to come in around 1:30 am ET on Thursday, December 21. I initially posted about it on the Search Engine Roundtable, several hours prior to Google confirming the issue. You can see that some of the complaints came in as early as 1:30 am ET and continued to come in throughout even as I write this story.

Who is impacted. Initial thoughts were that only sites in India and specific regions were impacted but that is not exactly correct. Others thought it had to do with sites that publish both normal HTML pages, as well as offer an AMP alternative solution.

The sites I write at, here and the Search Engine Roundtable do not appear to be impacted. The Wall Street Journal, NY Times, Washington Post and other large publications also do not seem to be impacted.

Google said it is only “affecting a small number of sites.” Google will update us when it figures out the “root cause” of the issue. But I do not expect Google to share which sites were impacted and which were not.

What now. If you are impacted, there is not much you can do right now but wait it out. Google is investigating the issue on their end and will hopefully resolve the issue sooner than later. Google did say it will provide an update within the next 12 hours, but hopefully we will see an update sooner.

Why we care. If you are noticing issues with indexing of your content and thus traffic issues to your site from Google Search, then this may be why. Again, this specific issue is new, as of this morning. If you have been having indexing and ranking issues over the past several days or months, that is likely more of an issue with one of the Google Search algorithm updates and Google thinking your site is not worth ranking and indexing at this point.

Fixed at 5:30 pm ET. Google has posted an update saying it has now been fixed at around 5:30 pm ET. Google wrote, “We identified and fixed the issue with indexing. Sites may still experience some delayed indexing until the previously affected URLs have been reprocessed. There will be no more updates.”

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About the author

Barry Schwartz

Barry Schwartz is a Contributing Editor to Search Engine Land and a member of the programming team for SMX events. He owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry can be followed on Twitter here.

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