Why Google lost a part of its Search Index and what you need to do for your website SEO!

Last Updated On: August 30, 2019

Talking about website SEO, sudden changes to website search ranking are in most cases caused by changes in search engine algorithms. Google is the synonym for searching and most of the time their search engine works flawlessly. A few recent events lead us to think seriously about protecting our search ranking.

Recent events

An undisclosed event in April 2019 produced a few different SEO issues that appeared at the same time. What happened, by Google, was “a small disruption” in the search engine systems it was not “visible to anyone except our (Google) teams”. Continuing the same report they acknowledged that “such a situation occurred with our indexing systems” and that it “had a ripple effect on some other parts of infrastructure”.

While implementing some planned changes, Google temporarily lost a part of the Search Index and the issue was fixed with a complete version on April 11th, and the main issue that users experienced was inconsistencies with Search Console.

Many Search Console individual reports read data from a dedicated database which is partially built by using information that comes from the Search index.

Another recent event happened on May 22nd when Google’s duplicate management system ran out of memory after a planned infrastructure upgrade which inherently caused all incoming URLs to stop processing.

Basically, planned upgrades and changes to search engine infrastructure lead to unexpected malfunction and loss of data. When these events occure, there are a few steeps you can take in order to actually help Google get back on track as fast as possible, but first we need to know how the indexing works.

Search engines need to use powerful tools such as crawler (spider) bots to collect information about our websites. These powerful tools are actually automated software algorithms that go from site to site and follow the links between them to find relevant information. Information gathered by crawl bots is stored in the Search Index.

How does Google indexing work?

Pretty much like any other database, Google Search Index is a database stored on a remote computer connected to the Internet. Because this database keeps information about billions of website pages, we can be sure that the Search Index is stored over a large number of computers, in multiple data-centers and it is a very complex system.

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Search engines need to use powerful tools such as crawler (spider) bots to collect information about our websites. These powerful tools are actually automated software algorithms that go from site to site and follow the links between them to find relevant information. Information gathered by crawl bots is stored in the Search Index.

What can you do to protect and improve your website SEO and search ranking?

The search engines strive to provide up-to-date results, and crawl bots never stop doing their job and constantly add fresh information about our websites into the Index database.

A large portion of website owners would say that you do not have to do anything as Google service will recover and spider bots will index your website even if you do nothing about it, as this is their job. This is not untrue but it will take a longer period of time for Google to take notice and have a spider bot go through your site, which may cost you visitors and profit.

Fast and often website indexation is important for improving your website search rankings. You should want your website indexing to be done sooner so that your website will start competing for better search rankings and domain authority.

Publishing content regularly is great for SEO

In order to have your website crawled more frequently, what you need to do is publish fresh content on a regular interval. This regular content update will signal the spider bot to crawl your website more often, with experts recommendation of having fresh content at least once a week.

The Google statistics show that the average website that is displayed on the first search result page is older than two years, while the website in position number one is older than three years. All this means that you should start working on your website indexing and SEO from day one of your website publishing and continue publishing content regularly.

Improve website crawl speed

Note that when crawl bots go through your website they incur high resource usage for your hosting server (high load on memory, CPU, and storage devices) so you do not want them to come too often. Fortunately, there is a way to tell them what content on your site they should and should not index.

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Originally known as Google WebMaster Tools, and now the Google Search Console can be used to set the crawl rate for your website and generate a robots.txt document which will consist of information useful to spider bots.

Firstly, to improve crawl speed you can including information about areas which crawl bots should not index into the robot.txt file. Note that this file only acts as a suggestion to compliant search engines and does not prevent search engines.

Make an XML sitemap with plugin and improve your website SEO

Another way to improve crawl speed and lighten the strain on your website hosting is by using an XML Sitemap. Popular CMS platforms offer plugins that can do this automatically. Once you have created the XML Sitemap, submit it to Search Console.

Bear in mind that once submitted sitemap is only true for the current state of your website, and as you add content and pages, your site will grow and the sitemap will become obsolete. Make sure that you repeat this process following your website expansion and Google will always have a fresh version of what your website looks like.

Are there reasons why a part of your website or complete site should not be indexed?

In a way, we already answered this question, but we must mention it again. The main reason why some part of your website should not be indexed is the high resource load while the website is being crawled.

Especially dynamic pages with lots of content can produce high strain for the hosting environment and if you have such pages on your website you can expect your hosting company will notify you about this issue, and with failure to comply you could have your website offline.

Conclusion

We hope that this post will bring more clarity to how Search Indexing  systems work, but more importantly what you can do to protect and improve upon them

It’s important to keep in mind that most website indexing issues are caused by an individual website’s configuration, which can create difficulties for Google Search to index that website properly.

Even if Google loses any part of your website search ranking, having your website souped-up for fast and frequent crawling will help your website SEO get back on its feet.