I woke up this morning to probably close to a hundred messages across email, social media and other channels that Search Engine Land is not currently in the Google Index. People want to know why.
Update: I do know why now, it was a mistake – Google thought the site was hacked, it was not. See below for what I wrote earlier with a link to more details.
I honestly do not know why. I do not have access to the code base or Google Search Console access. I have no information at this point. I totally suspect it will make for a good story on Search Engine Land when we do get all the details. But as of now, I know as much as everyone else.
I figured it would be easier to post this here for now then respond to every single message I have received about this situation.
There are a lot of rumors about why Search Engine Land is down and so far none of them seem to be real. One was that there was an iframed noindex on an article or a bunch but as John Mueller of Google said, that would result in some pages dropping out of the index slowly, not the whole site all at once:
Wondering if this iframe coud’ve caused @sengineland to get deindexed recently… I don’t see any other obvious reasons? HT to @maxjpeters for noticing it was gone from Google. Any ideas/fyi @dannysullivan pic.twitter.com/UNj0OoZJNy
‘” Matt Tutt (@MattTutt1) November 30, 2018
I have no comment on the current situation (I’m on a train with my phone :)), but in general, if a site were to add noindex to all its pages, the effect would take place over time, as we recrawl & reprocess the URLs. Some URLs would be fast, many would take longer.
‘” ð John ð (@JohnMu) November 30, 2018
Same with ScreamingFrog tool, they said the same:
On SEL – The noindex in the rendered source is in an iframe, and GSC URL inspection tools classes it as indexable (from a quick test). Noindex generally works slowly, not that I’ve been checking SEL index status – but this feels more abrupt.
‘” Screaming Frog (@screamingfrog) November 30, 2018
So what is going on here? I really honestly do not know. I hope it is a simple technical glitch where someone on the tech team pressed the wrong button and is accidentally blocking Google.
Update: Turns out this was a Google bug and Google mislabeled the site as being hacked. You can learn more about this at Search Engine Land.
Update 2: People are asking for the full statement from Google, here it is:
This was a case where our system misidentified the site as being hacked. A message informing the site owner that we believed the site was hacked would have been made available within Search Console, as well as an option to request a review. However, as we discovered the error before a review request was made, we reversed the action. The site should return to the index soon. We apologize for the error.