John Mueller from Google has confirmed a bug that the Google Search team has resolved where Google was not crawling the web between November 11, 2021 and November 17, 2021.
Google confirmed. A Google spokesperson told us “we saw that crawling for the AMP cache had slowed down for some sites.” “This bug has since been resolved, and an internal analysis showed it wasn’t widespread, and that there were no negative effects overall,” Google added.
What was the issue. It seems the issue impacted only certain crawling of caches for some sites. John Mueller of Google added on Twitter “we saw that crawling for the caches had slowed down for some sites. This bug has since been resolved, and an internal analysis showed it wasn’t widespread, and that there were no negative effects overall.”
First to notice. Olivier Papon from Seolyzer first spotted the issue and posted about it on Twitter saying that he noticed Googlebot, Google’s web crawler, has essentially stopped crawling much of the web. He said it began on November 11 at 6PM (GMT) and then crawling went back to normal on November 17 at 8PM (GMT), he said in a follow up tweet.
Here is the chart he shared showing the drop in crawl activity from Googlebot:
I personally did notice a number of sites show a decline in crawling in the Google Search Console crawl stats report but it seemed not to impact most of the sites I have verified access to in Search Console.
Why we care. If you noticed any issues with new pages being indexed or old but updated pages not reflecting those changes in Google Search, this is why. Google seems to have resolved the bug and going forward – all should be fine. Google said this wasn’t widespread and “there were no negative effects overall.”
Hopefully your business and website was not impacted by this bug but if it was, you probably have zero recourse.