I was alerted via email this morning by the wonderful Marie Haynes that over the weekend (beginning Thursday according to Search Engine Roundtable) it looks like Google has a bug where some businesses had a lot of their pages wiped from Google (technically “removed from Google’s index”).
This means that your rankings could have been affected.
Say you check your rankings today and you are not ranking where you usually are. You check a few pages deeper on Google and still can’t find yourself. It’s possible the page that ranks so well was removed from Google (proper term is “de-indexed”) in this bug.
For example, we had an HVAC client that was affected by this. We automatically check the ranking of all of our clients every morning. I saw a large drop for this client in their rankings today. I go to check and their homepage (the page that usually ranks well) is no longer indexed on Google and was affected by this bug. How could I tell? I went to Google and typed in “site:theirwebsite.com” (without the quotes, and I used their actual website, not theirwebsite.com). This is called the “site command” and it shows you every page Google knows about the site you type in. Sure enough, Google did not show me the homepage in the list of pages they knew about this client. In this bug, Google had removed this page from their index.
How did I fix it?
I have Google Search Console installed for this website (if you don’t have this installed, you need to, go to here and find the best article or video that you can follow along with). I used the URL inspection tool as detailed here and then I did this:
Within minutes the page was back and we were ranking where we were before.
Google says they are aware of it and are fixing the issue. But I wouldn’t wait. Every day is a loss in revenue.
Post any questions or comments below!