Google Search indexing issue has been troubling users since yesterday. Because of the issue, new content is not showing up in the search results. The search engine giant acknowledged the issue yesterday at 4:28AM ET, but it seems the issue is still not fixed.
Google Search indexing issue was first highlighted by Search Engine Land. Owing to the issue only some of Top Stories in the Google News section are of the last couple of hours, while others are from yesterday. The search giant said that the issue impacted ‘some sites,’ but did not elaborate on the scale of the issue.
“We’re aware of reports of indexing issues that are impacting some sites beginning earlier today. We’ll provide another update when we have more information to share,” read a tweet from Google yesterday.
Looks to me like Google has (news)-indexing issues again. (Try searching "News", "sort by date", "past hour") A lot of news don't get indexed. (Very few do but it's a bit random and nowhere near all.) @searchliaison @JohnMu pic.twitter.com/r7r02xshtY
— Valentin Pletzer (@VorticonCmdr) August 8, 2019
This Google Search indexing issue is a big problem for sites that get a significant portion of their traffic from fresh content. Such sites will see a sharp drop in their traffic, and may impact their Google Search Console performance reports as well.
Related to this, we're currently seeing issues in the URL Inspection tool within Search Console. We recommend waiting for this issue to be resolved, and then checking the URLs later on. Thanks for your patience & sorry for the inconvenience!
— Google Webmasters (@googlewmc) August 8, 2019
Along with the indexing issues, Google also admitted facing “issues in the URL Inspection tool within Search Console.” Users trying to submit the URLs to Google’s index via tools inside the Google Search Console were not able to do so. However, the company was able to fix the URL issue in a few hours.
“A large part of this issue has been resolved – in particular, the URL Inspection tool should be working normally again. We’re currently still working on resolving the remaining issues and will update here once we have more to share. Thanks for your patience!” read a tweet from Google.
Google Search indexing issue is not a new thing, and only recently, the company experienced the indexing issues. The indexing issue in April lasted for a week, and for three days in May. It will be interesting to see how long the issue lasts this time.
In separate news, Google is now making it easier to find podcasts. Now if someone searches for a show, interview or any other thing, then Google will show the podcasts that meet their search criteria. Moreover, the company is in the process of allowing users to ask Google Assistant to play podcasts related to specific topics.
“There’s a discovery problem,” with podcasts, said Google Podcasts product manager – Zack Reneau-Wedeen. “There’s stuff people want but can’t find it — and that aligns perfectly with Google’s mission to organize the world’s information.”
Currently, people have to search for podcasts separately by adding the word “podcasts” to their search query. After you choose a podcast, it will open in Google Podcasts’ web app. A similar process is there for playing podcasts via Google Assistant as well.
Google will also support third-party playback as certain podcasts are exclusive to certain platforms. To bring podcasts in the search results, the search giant is automatically transcribing the podcast episodes. Also, similar to how websites are populated on search, podcasts with RSS Feed will get automatically indexed.
Speaking to The Verge, Zack Reneau-Wedeen said several factors will be taken into consideration while deciding the podcasts that surface firsts in the search results. These factors include the number of people listening to a show, the standing of the publisher, and more.
Along with changing the way how users search for podcasts, Google’s podcasts-related change could also change the way publishers title or write a description of their episode. Websites use SEO (Search Engine Optimization) tactics to make their site more Google-friendly. After Google applies similar rules to podcasts, the publishers will also take help of SEO to get their podcasts up in the search results.
“Our goal is to double worldwide podcast listening, to not just make it easy to listen to podcasts on Android but make podcasts a first-class citizen on Google,” said Reneau-Wedeen, according to Variety.
Apple was quick in realizing the potential of podcasts. The iPhone maker came up with a default native app for Apple Podcasts with the iOS 8 in 2014. As per the data from App Annie, the Apple Podcasts app accounted for 63% of all the podcasts listening as of February 2019. On the other hand, the Google Podcasts app for Android, which debuted in June 2018, accounted for about 1%.
Apple is also improving its podcast-search features by transcribing the phrases and words used in the podcasts. These search features, however, will only be available to the Mac users initially. With the upcoming macOS X 10.15 (Catalina), Apple will do away with the native iTunes app for the Mac. Instead, the new OS will feature three dedicated media apps for music, TV and podcasts.