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“Google’s Not Updating Data in My Search Console. What’s Going On?” Google Responds

Do you have a relatively new website with lots of pages? How’s the quality of those pages?

In SEO and webmaster circles, there’s sometimes mention of Quality Score. While this term officially has more to do with Google Ads, it’s made its way into search circles, because Googlebot likes to see high-quality pages. A high-quality site is a site where a healthy portion of the pages are of high quality. 

During the most recently-published English SEO Office Hours (October 1st, 2021), Google Search Advocate John Mueller addressed a question about indexing and Google Search Console.

The question was: 

“My question is that Google is not indexing websites, even fresh sites, and also not updating data in Search Console. Is there any hidden update going on?”

The video below is queued to the ~42:25 mark, which is roughly where the question was asked.

John’s response was: 

“There are always updates going on, so that’s kind of hard to say [for sure]. I don’t think there’s anything explicitly hidden going on.”

Quality Is Important, Even for Sites With a Lot of Pages

John continued: 

“What I do sometimes see is that because it’s so much easier to create websites nowadays, people create websites with a large number of pages and then they focus more on the technical aspect of getting [a] …million pages up, and they disregard a lot of the quality aspects.

“And then, because of the way that Search Console tries to provide more and more information about the indexing process, it’s a lot easier to recognize that…well… Google is not actually indexing everything from this website, and then the assumption is often there that, ‘Well, perhaps this is a technical issue that I just need to tweak,’ and usually, it’s more of a quality issue where, when we look at the website overall, and we’re not convinced about the quality of this website, then our systems are not going to take the time to kind of invest in more crawling and indexing of a website.”

If Googlebot Is Not Impressed…

“So if you give us a million pages and the pages that we end up showing initially don’t convince us, then we’re not going to spend time to actually get all of those millions of pages indexed.

“We’re going to kind of hold off and keep a small subset and if, over time, we see that the subset is doing really well and has all the signs that we look at with regards to quality, then we will go off and try to crawl more, but just because there are a lot of pages on a website does not mean that we’re going to crawl and index a lot of pages from that website.”

Lesson of the Day: Quality Beats Quantity

It’s one thing to have a lot of content (pages), but that quantity should also be balanced with quality. I’d rather have a smaller number of high-quality pages than multiple times that of low-quality pages. 

Source: Google Search Central YouTube channel