OT- Makes no sense... my Google Index Status and my actual Users/Page Hits


(Greg Schneck) #1

As long as I check GA and my stats stay consistent or improve I don’t worry about things too much. But I just checked my Google Search Console and the stats show a steady 2200 pages indexed for months and then suddenly it drops to 682 and is in a steady decline and now down to 283.

This makes no sense to me as GA shows users/hits/views/time on site/ etc all consistant (actually improving a bit) over the past year.

How can G show such a decline in my indexed pages yet all my stats improve? I have not changed a thing in my sitemaps, etc. I submitted my sitemap manually yesterday and G reports 1485 pages indexed.

I will be investigating all this in detail but wonder if someone may have thoughts?

Again… Question is:
How can Google show such a big decline in my indexed pages yet all my critical stats improve?


(Raimo Karhunen) #2

2200 pages is a lot of pages… There are a ton of reasons Google will stop indexing content, but the number one seems to be “Duplicate Content”. Google tends to not include pages which have content that can be found elsewhere on the internet (like your own website even…), or which are thin on content.

But have you checked for other errors like “Manual Actions” from Google (Violations of Webmaster Guidelines…) Or “Crawl errors”? Without seeing your website, hard to know.


(Greg Schneck) #3

Thanks much for the response… All my SEO procedures remain the same and the pages are the same pages they have indexed fine for a very long time. (And many pages rank very high.) My question is… if Google was suddenly indexing only 1/3 of the pages they indexed for years, why have visitor counts from google searches and google search terms remained the same (or slightly higher)? I just can’t see that as being possible…


(Greg Schneck) #4

Though a slightly different issue… I think this blog entry answers my question perhaps.

Seems that if a page has been indexed it will remain there pretty much “forever” even if Google stops indexing it altogether. I guess I assumed that if you presented a site map and the page was gone, it would be removed from their index at some time. Evidently not. Makes me feel that a really current and accurate sitemap isn’t that critical, except for new and updated pages.


(Doug Bennett) #5

Not at a Mac now, but have you tried this.
Take a page that has been dropped from console and go to google.com and type info: in front of the full URL.


(Greg Schneck) #6

Well… that’s just it… is there a tool that shows me dropped pages? I literally can’t find any so though the console graph shows my indexing dropped by great numbers I see no effect on actual indexed pages.

Console graph shows such a sharp decline in indexed pages but none removed:

And I don’t understand the above graph as compared to these crawl stats:

So it appear the pages are being crawled but not NEWLY indexed but the old index remains?


(Doug Bennett) #7

The only time I’ve seen drops like what you’re getting is when something changed like www vs. non-www or http to https.

Don’t know of a tool that does what you’re asking for, as far as knowing what pages are being dropped.

What does the XL sitemap section of console show, submitted vs indexed?

Google often changes things, depending on the site structure, the Googlebot may not be getting tothe deepest pages in a crawl.


(scott williams) #8

Just to add to what @teefers Doug said, another thing I’ve seen that can cause things like this is load time, the bot will only spend so much time per crawling session, If it gets stuck, or has to wait to long for a response it leaves.

Has the time spent downloading a page been creeping up?


(Greg Schneck) #9

I did recently move from http to https… but I thought I cared for everything in that regard.


(scott williams) #10

Did you create a “property set” in search console? and are you looking at the “set” (combined site) in analytics and webmaster tools? That would definitely explain it if not.


(Greg Schneck) #11

I guess I need to be educated on that… When I look at my Property Settings the Defualt Url has “http” and not “https” - I can change (with a selector) the "Default URL to https. Do I need to do that? (All my full links are “https” and my htaccess forces to all “https” pages.)

Or should I create a new (second) property set so I have both http and https sets?

btw… my regular property set os showing 4116 hits yesterday which is correct.

(I just switched default to “https”)


(scott williams) #12

I always create a set, http/https. www/non www that way your covered for any circumstance.
Google looked at each variant as a seperate site. & you want them all added together so to speak.


(Doug Bennett) #13

I’m not at my Mac, but if I remember you need to add the site to the console, with the full URL (HTTPS). Googles search console started treating them as separate sites.


(Greg Schneck) #14

And thank you @swilliam for your help too!

  • I had one Property showing with “http://[site]”
  • I added a Property “https://[site],” got a verification number, placed on site, & confirmed verification.
  • Search console now shows both http and https properties.
  • I then added my sitemap and tested. No errors were found. Index pending.

Still confused about why I had to do this as GA stats were working fine under “http” property.

So now I have an “http” site plus a “https” site defined and I can view stats for both (once they start). How does this impact me in a PRACTICAL way? Do I simply just ignore “http” site stats and solely focus on “https” stats? Since I am forcing (in htaccess) all pages to “https,” why would I see stats for http? Is this “old” non-ssl links on others sites coming in?


(Greg Schneck) #15

Here is screenshot of google email from my setting up https property (search console.) It looks like I need to also add non “www” versions for both http and https. (#1 below)


(scott williams) #16

correct


(Greg Schneck) #17

I’m just trying to understand google and it’s difficult to grasp that google has so many aspects…

I added https property and submitted a sitemap (tested and approved) but it has not been crawled yet as Search Console shows Total indexed pages as zero. However, I did manually submit a sitemap 2 days ago and Search Console reports (under “Crawl” > “Sitemaps”) 1567 pages submitted and 1,550 indexed.

This is so confusing as Search Console shows zero indexed pages under “Google Index > Index Status” but “Craw > Sitemaps” shows 1,550 indexed yesterday when I submitted sitemap.

Also, Crawl Stats history (graph) is showing 90 days of good crawl history for “https” for which there was no “property” until a couple of days ago. They show an average of 679 pages crawled for past 90 days and a high of 4,774. Thus, this crawl info must be for the site, not related to http or https???

They sure don’t make it simple…


(Bob Afifi) #18

Hi Greg,
Last year I removed about 1000 pages from one of my sites. Took Google eight months to update the changes.


(Greg Schneck) #19

Yes… seems once they have something they don’t get rid of it. In fact, I understand it better to leave “unwanted” pages on site with “no crawl” meta tag. There is a manual removal request which I understand ins honored… but impossible to do with 1000 pages!

Not deleting pages is a concept I can very easily wrap my head around and i can then deal with it. But what I describe I don’t even understand… evidently the crawl stats are literally for googlebot crawls and don’t show manual sitemap submission crawls. It’s just very confusing information.


(system) #20

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