What Was The Google Indexing Bug?
Announced by Search Engine Land, on April 4th, 2019, “Google dropped pages inadvertently pages from its search index”. This means website pages that were previously displaying in Google’s search results were completely removed through no fault of the website’s. On April 7th Google confirmed they were aware of the issue and were actively working to resolve them.
As of April 10th Google confirmed that the indexing issue has now been fully resolved and pages that were affected had been returned to the index and were once again displaying in the search results.
Why Does It Matter To My Hotel?
For most hotel websites, organic search engine traffic accounts for the majority of sessions and revenue produced through a hotel’s website. If your hotel’s website pages are completely removed from Google’s search results this can mean a loss in website traffic and revenue from your top online channel.
Was My Hotel’s Website Impacted?
According to Moz’s Dr. Pete Meyers, 4% of the URLs tracked by Moz’s platform were impacted from Google’s indexing bug. Google has not commented on what caused the error or exactly how many pages were impacted. Search Engine Land’s article further clarifies:
“Not every site was impacted by this de-indexing bug. So the 4% figure does not mean your site saw 4% of its pages drop out of the Google index. It can mean you saw zero pages drop out of the Google Index or it can mean you saw 50% of your pages drop out of the Google index. Each site is unique and each site can be impacted differently by this bug”.
GCommerce analyzed our clients’ website data and found that 53% of clients experienced a decline or drop in keyword ranking data during the indexing bug but only 19% of clients experienced an impact on organic sessions. The impact in organic sessions varied by client but in general were minimal declines.
What Can I Do If My Hotel’s Website Was Impacted?
At this point there’s not much that can be done through Google directly. Google has announced that they have resolved the issue and the index is accurate. Work with your hotel’s digital marketing agency to understand the impact and devise strategies to make up for lost traffic or exposure through other channels such as social, email or display campaigns to meet your revenue goals.
Please reach out to us if you have questions about Google’s April 2019 indexing bug and if it impacted your hotel’s website.