Google loses search console performance data
Google has reported a loss of data in Search Console which occurred during the month of August.
Many were hoping that the company would find a way to retrieve and backfill the data, but those hopes are looking futile, because it seems that the data is gone for good.
This issue affects Search and Discover data collected on August the 23rd & 24th.
As a result, SEOs are seeing an alarming drop in performance reports, it is important to remember though, that these reports are not indicative of a drop in performance itself.
SEOs should annotate their reports regarding the data lost over these two days, to avoid the suggestion that significant (and otherwise unexplainable) performance drops had occurred on those August dates in question.
Just to reiterate; the issue impacts Search Console reports, not a website’s actual performance in Search and Discover.
This is confirmed by Google on the Search Console data anomalies page, which reads:
August 23-24 (Search, Discover)
“An internal problem caused a data loss in Search and Discover performance during this period. Users might see a significant data drop in their performance reports during this period. This does not reflect any drop in clicks or impressions for your site, only missing data in Search Console.”
Google’s John Mueller also hinted at the worst case scenario in reply to a request for clarification on the issue via Twitter.
When asked if he could clarify if the data would not be restored, John had this to say:
“Sometimes we can rebuild it, sometimes there's just data loss. From the wording on the annotation, it looks like this is really data loss and won't be back-filled. In the past we've looked at just adding interpolated data, but imo that's iffy (especially with keywords, etc).”
Mueller’s mention of “interpolated data” relates to the use of data from previous days in an attempt to fill in the gaps, it is hardly accurate, or as John describes it, “iffy”...
Some charting clicks, impressions and average positions did indeed notice things looking pretty bad over the two days in question, while for others things looked relatively normal. However it is still possible that at least some data is missing, it is worth bearing in mind.
Google has as yet given no indication that the missing data will ever show its face, leaving many to simply assume it is gone for good.
The positive news is that the whatever issue causing the data loss appears to have now been resolved, with Search Console back to doing the things it does best; collecting data reliably as usual...
There are no signs of any lingering problems, if that changes though, Google will be quick to keep us informed.