Good morning, Marketers, Google Search is on a roll confusing publishers this week.
Google News had an indexing bug for the past couple of weeks where many news publishers saw their traffic from Google News take a steep dive. It took Google a couple of weeks to confirm the issue and say they are working on a fix.
Google also showed a spike in page indexing issues/errors for many publishers but forgot to annotate the report to say this was just an update on how Google detects those issues. The report was changed, but nothing changed with how Google Search processes those pages. Google subsequently added the annotation to the report but publishers had already felt the confusion and stress.
A few months ago, Google shocked the publishing SEO world when it said you should no longer use cross-domain canonicals for syndicated content. Then, Google’s Search Liason shared some slides of the new noindex recommendations, and publishers were not happy. Google said they would take the feedback to the team but it doesn’t look like canonicals for this purpose will ever come back. What a mess!
We are here for you, trying to make sense of all these complex topics.