Google has said that they’ve adjusted how they estimate how many pages of a website are found in their search index.
There were reports of a significant drop in the index count within the Google Search Console Index Report a few weeks ago, Google told Search Engine Land. The company said that “this change reflects a more accurate estimation of how many pages Google is indexing.”
A day after Google came out with this statement, the Google Index Status report updated, which resulted in the reported numbers going back to the old count.
Barry Schwartz asked Google why would they decided to go back tot he old count if the newer lower count number was more accurate.
In a Google hangout, which took place on September 8th, John Mueller of Google answered Barry’s question, saying that the timing of the release was just a coincidence. Not only did they update how they estimate index saturation of a website, but at the same time, Google had a bug in their Index Status report. It was because of this bug that the drop in index count was so significant back then.
Following is the video where Barry asked John about the index count. The question was asked at the 5:35 minute mark:
“I think that was just a normal data glitch. Something got messed up with the counts, and we kind of showed that in Search Console.
“So I think the difficulty there is the timing, in that we had this weird data glitch that we noticed afterwards and at the same time we also made adjustments with what we would show in general. So it looked like some of these things were based on the adjustments that we did. The answer you got from PR, the thing I said in the German hangout, but at the same time there was this glitch in the report. So it is a bit of a, a lot of coincidence.”