Google Stopped Indexing Many Blogs 2 Days Ago

On October 19th Google stopped indexing a lot of blogs. I can’t tell the number right now, but I guess there are tens of thousands affected or even more. I noticed that TechCrunch, Mashable and even the Google Apps Developer blog have been affected. It’s been almost 48 hours since Google stopped indexing posts from these blogs, though it is still indexing their tags and that’s why the issue is really strange.

I believe it’s either a big Google bug or they’re currently working on something and doing some tests. Something similar to this happened a while ago when it was indexing the posts, but it wasn’t ranking them at all, though it happened at a lower level than now.

Another strange thing is that almost all the latest indexed posts from these blogs contain Feedburner’s variables, the “utm_source,” “utm_medium,” and “utm_campaign.” Some believe this might be the problem, though I don’t consider this being a problem, as links like these ones have been indexed for a lot of time.

Unfortunately Google hasn’t made any official statement, so we can only guess that it’s a major bug and hope they will fix it soon enough.

One reason I can think about is that Google started following all the links and every blog now has a lot of duplicate pages, because of the “utm_source,” “utm_medium,” and “utm_campaign.” These variables differ from the source of traffic, so the utm_source can be Twitter, Feed, Friendfeed and so on. One way to solve this is to use the canonical link tag.

Update:

In the meantime it seems like Google started indexing Mashable and TechCrunch again, though I’ve found 3 duplicates of one article indexed for Mashable. Check it out here or in the screenshot at the end of the post.

I would really like to know your opinion.

Mashable

  1. Hello thanks for this post, this has happened to my blog as well. Before two days ago as soon as I would write a new post google would crawl index and cache the post but the last two days it hasn’t been doing so. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out why today and there are widespread reports of this happening. Hopefully they work it out soon.

  2. Thanks for this post Alex. Maybe it’s just a big Google bug and nothing to be afraid of, as you said. A couple of months ago I’ve had a blog that had over 10,000 pages and none of them indexed, although I’ve submitted and re-submitted various sitemaps. Then, suddenly, it indexed all my pages.
    In conclusion, the guys at Google must be working on this one…

  3. I hope Google will fix and kick the bug’s butt real soon. It annoys me when some of my blog posts were not indexed on Google, but eventually I have patience until they were indexed. Be cool guys, it will be fixed real soon! :)

  4. It should be fixed though..no? CNN was also part of the bunch that had this issue.

  5. I find that some of my posts cannot be found when I search them on Google :( (although they exist on my sitemap file) – I used site:cravingtech.com and still can’t find them grrrr

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  1. [...] in the Google Webmaster Central forums about this, along with various blog posts out there, such as here and here. The reports there appear to be mainly from bloggers using Google’s blogspot.com [...]

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