Google Acknowledges Reporting Bug in Search Console Affecting Key Metrics

22 November 2023

Google has recently acknowledged a reporting bug in Google Search Console that impacts key metrics, including core web vitals, mobile usability, HTTPS, AMP, and more. This bug also affects eCommerce-specific reports, such as product snippets and merchant listings.

Update - 23rd November


Google confirmed on X that the issue has been resolved and stated that 'the numbers will return in the near future'. Although there isn't an exact date for when normal reporting will resume, early indications suggest that the issue is now fixed.


Bug Leads to Decline in Valid URL Reports


The bug manifests as a decline in the number of valid URLs reported, starting Friday, 17th November. This has caused concern among those reliant on these metrics for website optimisation and performance analysis, particularly in the eCommerce sector.


Google Search Console reporting bug


Impact on Website Visibility and Reporting


Despite the bug, it has been confirmed that this issue is strictly related to reporting and does not impact your website's visibility in search results, nor does it affect other reports in Google Search Console, such as search results or page indexing.


Google's Response and Assurance


Google has acknowledged the bug and reassured users that they are actively working towards a resolution. However, the timeline for this fix remains uncertain.


Key Takeaways


  • No Impact on Indexing or Ranking: This bug does not affect your website’s visibility in search results. The reporting discrepancies should not be mistaken for a decline in website performance or visibility.
  • Google’s Active Resolution Efforts: Google’s expertise and resources are being utilised to address this issue, ensuring that accurate reporting will be restored.
  • Continued Website Optimisation: Despite the reporting bug, the emphasis on optimising your website for performance, security, and user experience remains crucial. Utilising a mix of tools and strategies to assess your website's effectiveness is advisable.


Checking eCommerce Performance


If you're concerned about your online store's performance during this bug, you can manually check the performance of your product snippets and merchant listings. To do this, navigate to Performance > Search Results > Search Appearance in Google Search Console. Then, compare the last 7 days with the previous 7 days.


While it's not an exact science, as some differences are expected, you can reasonably anticipate the results to be broadly similar. This provides a good indication that your website is still being ranked correctly. Significant discrepancies, particularly in the range of thousands or tens of thousands, may warrant further investigation.


However, it's important to note that minor differences are usually normal and not a cause for concern.


GSC reporting bug




In conclusion, while this bug in Google Search Console poses a temporary challenge in reporting, it does not impact the fundamental aspects of website performance in search results. Google’s proactive approach to resolving the issue should provide reassurance.


Meanwhile, website owners and SEO professionals should continue to focus on comprehensive website optimisation strategies, using a variety of tools to evaluate and enhance their site's performance and user experience.



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