Google’s John Mueller answered a question in a Google Office Hours Hangout about a Search Console but where URLs were listed as excluded but when the URL is examined the web page was listed as indexed.
Google’s John Mueller said that he’s seen reports of this anomaly and that he had an idea of what it might be.
Why Was Page Crawled But Not Indexed?
A person asked a question about an issue where Google reports that pages are not indexed but when examined another report says they are indexed.
This issue is making it difficult for the person to accurately track crawling and indexing statistics for the site.
The person asking the question explained the problem:
“We have like a very large number of Crawled Not Indexed Pages listed under Excluded.
But then when we click into them most of these seem to have been converted into indexed pages.
So we’re really unable to accurately track how improvements to our site are impacting which pages are being indexed.
And I was curious I guess about the timeline in that.
We’re concerned it’s impacting our crawling budget.”
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Crawl Budget Impact
The person asking the question was concerned that the crawled but not index error was causing an issue with their crawl budget.
A crawl budget is the amount of URLs that Google allots to crawl on a site.
The crawl budget is calculated partly on the servers ability to serve pages. This is called the Crawl Capacity Limit.
If a server has a hard time serving pages then Google might limit how much it crawls in order to not impact the server’s ability to serve pages.
But if a server responds quickly and can easily handle GoogleBot’s request for more pages then Google may decide to raise the crawl budget and crawl more pages.
The crawl budget is also influenced by how often a site is updated.
A site that is rarely updated may be crawled less often than a site that is constantly updated.
What was going on, which the person revealed later on, was that the site has hundreds of thousands of pages.
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But Google was only indexing around 2,000 per day, meaning that a great deal of pages were not being crawled at all.
The underlying concern that wasn’t yet raised was really about why aren’t those other pages getting indexed and if this crawled not index issue had something to do with the crawling problem.
But that question hadn’t yet been asked.
So John Mueller only answered, at this point, the question that was posed to him, which was about the crawled but not indexed problem and if that was impacting Google’s crawl budget.
John Mueller addressed the crawl budget issue:
“I doubt it would be affecting your crawling budget… as a side note.”
Google Crawled – Currently Not Indexed
Google’s Mueller next answered why Google might show that a page was crawled but not indexed but actually be indexed.
“It’s something where I’ve recently seen some threads like this on Twitter as well where people saw URLs that were flagged as not being indexed in Search Console.
And then when you check them individually they are actually indexed.
I don’t know exactly what is happening there yet.
My suspicion is it’s more a matter of timing in that we show them in the Search Console report and then they get indexed over time.
…Then at some point they would drop out of the report again.
And for whatever reason kind of that dropping out is taking a little bit longer than it should.
That’s kind of my guess there.”
Verify Index Coverage Issue
Mueller next suggested a way to verify whether or not what was being reported in Google Search Console was a real index coverage problem or if it is just a lag in reporting.
John Mueller suggested:
“One way to kind of verify that is to see if these pages actually show up for normal searches.
So take some words from the page, search for that.
And if they do show up then I think there’s nothing you really need to do.
It’s just a report that’s kind of lagging behind.”
Lag in Index Coverage Reporting
There appears to be a lag in the indexing report. One hopes that the lag is something Google may take a look at in the near future as it presents a poor user experience to provide false information .
Read Google’s developers page explainer about GoogleBot crawl budget:
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Watch John Mueller answer the question about Google Search Console indexing report lagging behind.
View it at the 22:43 minute mark:
Google December Product Reviews Update Affects More Than English Language Sites? via @sejournal, @martinibuster
Google’s Product Reviews update was announced to be rolling out to the English language. No mention was made as to if or when it would roll out to other languages. Mueller answered a question as to whether it is rolling out to other languages.
Google December 2021 Product Reviews Update
On December 1, 2021, Google announced on Twitter that a Product Review update would be rolling out that would focus on English language web pages.
Our December 2021 product reviews update is now rolling out for English-language pages. It will take about three weeks to complete. We have also extended our advice for product review creators: https://t.co/N4rjJWoaqE
— Google Search Central (@googlesearchc) December 1, 2021
The focus of the update was for improving the quality of reviews shown in Google search, specifically targeting review sites.
A Googler tweeted a description of the kinds of sites that would be targeted for demotion in the search rankings:
“Mainly relevant to sites that post articles reviewing products.
Think of sites like “best TVs under $200″.com.
Goal is to improve the quality and usefulness of reviews we show users.”
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Google also published a blog post with more guidance on the product review update that introduced two new best practices that Google’s algorithm would be looking for.
The first best practice was a requirement of evidence that a product was actually handled and reviewed.
The second best practice was to provide links to more than one place that a user could purchase the product.
The Twitter announcement stated that it was rolling out to English language websites. The blog post did not mention what languages it was rolling out to nor did the blog post specify that the product review update was limited to the English language.
Google’s Mueller Thinking About Product Reviews Update
Product Review Update Targets More Languages?
The person asking the question was rightly under the impression that the product review update only affected English language search results.
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But he asserted that he was seeing search volatility in the German language that appears to be related to Google’s December 2021 Product Review Update.
This is his question:
“I was seeing some movements in German search as well.
So I was wondering if there could also be an effect on websites in other languages by this product reviews update… because we had lots of movement and volatility in the last weeks.
…My question is, is it possible that the product reviews update affects other sites as well?”
John Mueller answered:
“I don’t know… like other languages?
My assumption was this was global and and across all languages.
But I don’t know what we announced in the blog post specifically.
But usually we try to push the engineering team to make a decision on that so that we can document it properly in the blog post.
I don’t know if that happened with the product reviews update. I don’t recall the complete blog post.
But it’s… from my point of view it seems like something that we could be doing in multiple languages and wouldn’t be tied to English.
And even if it were English initially, it feels like something that is relevant across the board, and we should try to find ways to roll that out to other languages over time as well.
So I’m not particularly surprised that you see changes in Germany.
But I also don’t know what we actually announced with regards to the locations and languages that are involved.”
Does Product Reviews Update Affect More Languages?
While the tweeted announcement specified that the product reviews update was limited to the English language the official blog post did not mention any such limitations.
Google’s John Mueller offered his opinion that the product reviews update is something that Google could do in multiple languages.
One must wonder if the tweet was meant to communicate that the update was rolling out first in English and subsequently to other languages.
It’s unclear if the product reviews update was rolled out globally to more languages. Hopefully Google will clarify this soon.
Google Blog Post About Product Reviews Update
Google’s New Product Reviews Guidelines
John Mueller Discusses If Product Reviews Update Is Global
Watch Mueller answer the question at the 14:00 Minute Mark
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