Just as new web pages are constantly being created, so too is Google constantly indexing these pages to improve their Search results. However, this morning, it seems as though Google’s search indexing has stopped, meaning no new results are appearing in Google Search.
People have long relied on Google to be a trustworthy, up-to-date aggregate of the news, especially with useful, dedicated apps like Google News. These news results are powered by Google’s search indexing capabilities.
To allow you to get the absolute latest news and search results on a subject, Google allows you to filter your queries by when they were submitted. One of the choices on this filter is “Past Hour.” This morning, however, no results are appearing for queries limited to the past hour, according to Search Engine Roundtable.
In fact, pages created after approximately 3:05AM PT are not appearing in Google Search results, whether searching for a specific site or news subject or just browsing the news. Users from around the globe have reported that the latest results from their trusted news sites are not appearing in Google Search.
Looks to me as if Google stopped indexing (news?) an hour ago. Noticed at first with our pages but seems to be true for everyone (see screenshot) @searchliaison @JohnMu can you confirm this? pic.twitter.com/UlSCI5LVi7
— Valentin Pletzer (@VorticonCmdr) May 22, 2019
We’ve also verified this with 9to5Google and 9to5Mac search results, finding that our newest post visible in Google Search was from precisely 3:07am PT. The next post, created at 4:01am PT, does not appear in search results whatsoever. The indexing issue also affects sites that make use of Google’s Custom Search Engine, including our own search functionality.
The current belief is that something has stopped Google’s search indexing from operating, but it’s also possible that something has stopped the newly indexed information from appearing in the search results page.
We’ve reached out to Google for more information, and we’ll be keeping this page updated as we learn more.
Update 6:40am: Google has confirmed the issue to Search Engine Land and mention that they’re actively working on a fix. Google Webmasters has also released a statement on Twitter.
We're currently experiencing indexing issues that may cause stale search results in some cases. We'll update this thread when we can provide more information.
— Google Webmasters (@googlewmc) May 22, 2019
Update 9:15am: Google’s indexing seems to be resuming and catching up on what it’s missed. Some news articles created after 3am are beginning to appear in search results as expected. It’s unknown if the problem has been fixed and we’re now simply waiting on Google’s servers to catch up, or if the indexing is only working intermittently.
Update 11:05am: Everything appears to be getting back to normal now, with results finally appearing in Google Search’s “Past Hour” filter. Google hasn’t confirmed yet that the issue is solved or what caused the search indexing issue to begin with.