Pages Disappearing From Google Search Console?

Last Update: September 07, 2021

A Question From A GSC User

John Mueller (Google spokesman) was asked by a Google Search Console (GSC) user recently:

“... we’re seeing a slow decline in mobile-friendly pages in the mobile usability report in Search Console. We’re also seeing …a decline in pages that are in the Core Web Vitals report, and also other enhancements like review snippets and all of this type of stuff. Over the span of maybe a month or a month and a half there’s about a thousand pages. I …would like to know …is this a crawling issue potentially? Where should I be looking here? They’re not coming up as errors or anything. They’re just simply dropping out of that report.”

What's The Question?

Paraphrasing the question, I think it's asking:

"Why are the number of pages, showing for my sites in GSC, dropping/varying?"

John Mueller replied saying:

“Essentially what is happening is for these reports we look at a sample of the URLs from your website. So it’s something where having fewer URLs in these reports doesn’t mean that the other URLs are bad or problematic. It’s just we didn’t check them. Especially for the aggregate reports, which is for the Core Web Vitals to some extent, the AMP report, the Structured Data report, mobile-friendliness (I think as well)… for those reports we only take a look at a sample… and that sample can change over time. So it can happen that we look at 200 URLs from your site now and then maybe in a month or two we’ll look at 100 URLs from your website. That doesn’t mean that the difference is bad. It’s just we looked at a smaller sample of the URLs from your website.”

What's The Answer?

Paraphrasing the answer, JM seems to be saying:

"We (Google) don't always look at every URL from your website. That doesn't mean your website is bad. It just means that we don't always look at everything on your site!"

JM then explained:

“Usually what you would do with these reports is look more at the relationship between the bad pages reported there and the good ones. If these are all reported as being okay without any errors then that means all of the URLs we checked from your site they’re okay. From that point of view that’s fine. If on the other hand you see that the proportion of errors rises over time then that’s kind of a sign that something’s problematic that you might want to take a look at. But the absolute number of URLs that we show there, that’s not something that you need to take any action on.”

Paraphrasing again:

It’s a good idea to focus on the detail of what is being reported and not worry about how many pages are reported on. Check out all your organic keywords mentioned in GSC and their specific results.

Summary

So I hope that this helps to diminish any anxiety over fluctuations in GSC reporting.

It's clear that the number of pages reported in GSC is based on samples and therefore can be incomplete. Do, however, take seriously any negative comments in the reports and do what you can to fix them.

Is this useful? Please comment...

:-)

Richard

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StephenThiam Premium
I used this link to check my website Core Web Vitals. https://web.dev/measure/
The analysis report will tell you the errors and how to solve it. I maintained speed performance about 90 to pass the Core Web Vitals. Google takes average performance for last 28 days as result to pass my website.
I test your website twice, the speed performance score is 36 and 73. Your website has a little JS and unused JS issue only. I believe the Asset CleanUp plugin can help.
Do not believe I am an expert because I use trial and error to solve my website issue.
Just offer a way to check only.
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richardgb Premium
Hi, Stephen
Thank you for your comment which is useful in its own right…
I’m wondering if perhaps you had meant to attach it to a different blog or question?

Anyway, the measurement site looks very useful and I’ll be checking it out.
:-)
Richard
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Dhind1 Premium
It was not something that I saw happening, but it is great to have the answer when I do.

Thank you,

Alex
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richardgb Premium
Hi Alex
I had noticed posts showing one day then not a few days later which is why I looked for a reason. Thanks for your endorsement.
:-)
Richard
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BrightSales Premium
Very good explanation friend. This will alleviate any concerns we may have and help us focus on the the real issue like "negative comments" in the report which could affect our websites. Thanks. All the best!
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richardgb Premium
Thank you for reading, John.
Your comment is appreciated.
:-)
Richard
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YvonneBray Premium
Thanks Richard interesting stuff from Google Console. Thanks for sharing.
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richardgb Premium
You’re welcome, Yvonne.
:-)
Richard
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SophieKim Premium
Thank you for sharing. I learned something from it.

Evelyn
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richardgb Premium
Hi Evelyn
Thank you for responding. I'm glad it is useful.
:-)
Richard
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