If you have an online presence, you may have noticed that your website traffic in March and April have been a little… volatile compared to previous traffic patterns. This could be caused by the following reasons: Google’s March 2019 Core Update and/or the April 5th Deindexing Bug. Yes, I said deindexing.
What is the March 2019 Core Update?
The March 2019 Core Update is a confirmed update that Google makes several times per year. According to Google there was no specific target. They also went on to say that there is no ‘fix’ for pages that perform less other than to remain focused on building great content. Google releases these core updates in order to reevaluate websites using many different variables.
How Do I Find Out If I Was Affected?
Head over to Google Analytics to see if the Core Update helped/hurt/didn’t affect your site. To keep it simple, your main focus should be to review traffic, bounce rate, and conversions from a year-to-date week-to-week view. If you were affected, then you will see an anomaly during the month of March.
What is the April 5th Deindexing Bug?
The Deindexing Bug was an issue that Google had with the search engine that started dropping webpages out of the Google Index. It is believed that about 4% of the Google Index was impacted according to Moz Marketing Scientist Pete Meyers. However, Moz was able to only look at 23,237 stable URLs in its data set. That’s an immensely small fraction of an index that holds trillions of URLs. Not every site was impacted but it is wise to review your data to see if you were and if it was corrected.
How Do I Find Out if I Was Affected?
You will most likely not see anything because Google rectified the bug within a few days. But as you know, it doesn’t hurt to make sure! Start by reviewing your Google Search Console’s coverage report to see your index pages and how they have changed. If you see a significant (50%) drop of your indexed pages that it would be wise to investigate further. If you find that pages that were once indexed and are no longer, you can use the Search Console URL inspection tool and submit the URL. Remember, Google foes not index all URLs on the web, so even once it’s reprocessed, it would be normal that every URL does not show.
We encourage you to reach out to a team member at Brave River to conduct a full SEO review, or if you are interested in the opportunities of implementing premier Search Engine Optimization. Call us at 401-828-6611 to get started on your SEO journey.