Google Indexing Problems Resulting In Some Stale Search Results

The bug has prevented new content from being indexed in Google search results, and is most obvious when using the 'past hour' search filter.


An issue with Google's search feature has resulted in some new content not being indexed in the search results.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based technology giant confirmed in a 9:40 a.m. ET tweet Wednesday that indexing issues may cause stale search results in some cases. Google said it'll update the thread once it's able to provide more information.

We're currently experiencing indexing issues that may cause stale search results in some cases. We'll update this thread when we can provide more information.

— Google Webmasters (@googlewmc) May 22, 2019

The bug was first spotted by users early Wednesday morning, and is most pronounced when using the “past hour” search filter. For instance, a Google search to find content published in the past hour from the New York Times or Wall Street Journal isn't currently turning up any results.

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A Google search without the “past hour” search filter in place will only turn up older content, users found. Site command searches with the “past hour” filter on don't turn up any results, while general searches with the “past hour” filter turned on generate completely unrelated results.

As a result, searchers using Google are currently unable to find timely and fresh news coverage. Google's currently inability to index new content is far from the company's only indexing issue in recent months.

Many pages were deindexed by Google last month due to an ongoing indexing error last month. And in issue with Google's indexed pages report around the same time resulted in more than two weeks of data being unusable.

Google has additionally experienced indexing challenges with Google News and was struggling to select the right canonical URL. Some of these problems have taken multiple weeks to resolve.