Last week there were numerous reports that Google stopped crawling and Googlebot “flatlined” its crawling activity on many, if not, all Shopify websites. Google’s John Mueller responded to the reports this morning that yes, that is what it appeared to happen in Google Search Console but these sites “are in a good state” and “crawling will speed up again.” He said the issue was related to a “temporary drop in how we calculate how much we can crawl,” implying there was no issue with the Shopify sites.
What was the issue. Here are reports showing how Google Search Console’s crawl states report showed Googlebot activity flatline last week:
In fact, if you click through to that thread, you will see more reports of this. Both Google’s John Mueller and Shopify’s Kevin Indig said they will investigate.
What was the issue. The issue seemed to be on Google’s end and not an issue with Shopify. John Mueller of Google said this morning “we looked into the sites that were mentioned and for all of them it was a temporary drop in how we calculate how much we can crawl. This happens from time to time, and catches up after a few days usually. As far as the engineers are concerned, these are in a good state, crawling will speed up again, and there’s not something that needs to be done. It’s kinda confusing from the outside though.”
The issue is resolved. We are seeing reports from Shopify publishers that the issue is indeed resolved. @JessicaMal said on Twitter this morning “one out of the three sites we saw impacted though has now recovered in the crawl.” So it seems things are starting to recover in terms of Google crawling Shopify sites.
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Why we care. If you noticed a drop in crawling on your Shopify site, you are not alone. There is no need to worry, Google seems to have resolved the issue going forward and you should see crawling come back to normal over the coming days.
It is hard to say if this had any negative impact on these sites over the past several days but you probably should add an annotation to your chart documenting a potential issue with crawling starting on January 26, 2022 and lasting through this morning, February 7, 2022.
Postscript. This might have impacted sites beyond just those on the Shopify platform.
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