Never forget, even Google produces bugs

Last last week and continuing through the weekend, Google had a major de-indexing bug where some pages and entire domains were removed from Google Search.

From what Search Engine Land and Google Search’s official Twitter account reported, they are still fixing it as of when I write this.

I have confidence they’ll fix it, as it’s a critical bug that hurts their main products.

This does highlight something that people aren’t always aware of:

Google and every other search engine has bugs and occasionally break things.

Google’s recent Search Console update for structured data is another example of this.

For years Search Console has had bugs in its structured data report that never received any attention or fixes. It was bad enough that for years my advice was to ignore that report and hope the new Search Console report would be better.

When the new Search Console report was released mid-February, not only did it carry over the bugs from the prior one but it also added new ones and started to freak-out sites who had perfectly fine structured data. Websites who have and continue to have actual Rich Results.

As both of these recent buggy releases show you, sometimes even the giants make mistakes.

In the long-term, these won’t matter but until they are fixed everyone has to adapt and wait for them to be resolved.

In Google Search’s case, it sounds like it might resolve in a day or two and there will just end up being a week of lower SEO traffic for everyone. Annoying but completely out of any website’s control.

In Search Console’s case, it’ll take longer and their Rich Results report will have to be ignored until then. Which is fine because there are alternative tools to test your structured data and check on Rich Results.

Through all of this, JSON-LD for SEO has continued to work. Each week I’ve been monitoring Plus+ customers’ results and every week more and more stores have started to receive them.

That’s why having it running in your store is helpful.

If you’re not yet using JSON-LD for SEO, you might want to consider installing it now so it can begin to work on your Rich Results.

Eric Davis

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