If you noticed a sudden decrease in website visitors on September 21st, then it could have been related to a reporting error in Google Search Console. Google acknowledged that there was a data logging issue that day, which caused some data to be missing from Search Console reports.
What is Google Search Console?
For those who are unfamiliar, Google Search Console is a free service provided by Google that helps you monitor, maintain, and troubleshoot your site’s presence in Google search results. For example, you can use it to see how often your site appears in Google search, which queries bring users to your site, how many clicks you get from search results, and more. Google Search Console is an essential tool for SEO agencies and website owners who are developing their search presence.
What does this data logging issue mean for you?
Essentially, it means that the traffic data reported in your Search Console for September 21st may be inaccurate.
According to Google, “Due to a logging error, sites may see a small drop in data for this day. This is a logging issue only; it does not reflect changes in search performance or user behaviour”. In other words, while it may look like there was a sudden decrease in traffic on September 21st, this is not actually the case.
What it looks like
There was a significant drop in clicks, impressions, and CTR (click-through rate) on September 21st. Remember that this issue only affects data from the Search Console – it probably does not represent your website’s actual traffic.
Why is it important?
At first glance, it may not seem like a big deal – after all, it’s just one day’s worth of data, and Google says they’re working on fixing it. However, this issue highlights a more significant problem with the Search Console: its reliability.
Google Search Console provides a crucial service for website owners and SEO agencies, but it’s far from perfect. Unfortunately, data discrepancies are not uncommon, and this latest issue is just one example of that. Inaccurate figures can lead to incorrect conclusions about your website’s traffic and performance, which can, in turn, lead to bad decision-making.
If you’re relying on Search Console for data about your website’s traffic and performance, it’s important to be aware of its limitations and to double-check with other sources (such as Google Analytics) before making any decisions.
Fortunately, Google is working on a fix for this latest data logging issue. They say they will “replace most of the missing data soon”. It’s unclear whether this fix will be actual data or similar data from previous day averages, but either way, it’s good to know that the issue is being addressed.
While this issue is certainly not ideal, it’s important to keep in mind that it is just a data logging issue. Your website’s traffic has likely not been affected, and Google is working on fixing the problem. You can keep an eye on the Search Console Help Forum for updates on the situation from Google.
In the meantime, if you’re concerned about discrepancies with your website’s performance in Google search results, there are other tools you can use, such as Google Analytics, to reassure you that all is well. If you have any questions or would like to learn more, please get in touch with our team.