Google may be having issues showing new content again

Google seems to be having issues showing new and fresh content from web sites and publishers. This seems to be impacting both large and small publishers, including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, CNN and even this site, Search Engine Land.

Confirmed. At 6:18pm ET, Google has confirmed there is an issue posting on Twitter “We’re aware of an issue that may be causing slight delays in indexing fresh content. We’re looking into it and will update when it is clear.”

The issue. If you filter Google News to show content within the past hour for the Wall Street Journal or the New York Times, sites that both produce a ton of content all the time, you will see Google showing very few stories. At the time of writing this story, I am seeing one article from each site in the past hour:

A site command for filtered for content within the past hour. A site command for filtered for content within the past hour.

You can also see the issue when you sort by date, where Google News shows you the most recent content by date:

A site command for sorted for content by date order. A site command for sorted for content by date order.

There is an issue. I asked Danny Sullivan of Google if there was an issue and he said there may be an issue with the filters and search tools but he believes Google is indexing new content. I am not sure sure if this is correct, but we are waiting to hear back from Google with an official statement. Danny did say he is investigating this with the Google team.

Here is Danny’s response:

Sounds familiar. Yes, this should sound familiar, Google has been experiencing issues with indexing over the past year. In fact, Google explained some of those issues back in August. Issues that happened in August, May, and April of 2019.

We wait. For now, it seems we need to wait to hear more about this issue from Google. We have been receiving complaints on and off throughout the day. It might be an issue with Google’s filters to show this content or it might be an issue with Google crawling this content or an issue with Google indexing this new content. It is unclear at this point.

Why we care. One thing we know is that numerous publishers are not seeing their content displayed in Google Search or Google News. This may be impacting the publisher’s traffic. We have reached out to Google for a statement and will update you when we receive one.


About The Author

Barry Schwartz is Search Engine Land’s News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on SEM topics.