Last week, Google had one of its typical reporting issues where we thought maybe the data was delayed due to some pipeline bug. But it turns out the data that was lost, is likely gone forever and won’t be backfilled in the Search Console performance report.
The statement. Google posted a statement saying that between August 23rd and August 24th “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.”
Lost data. John Mueller of Google said this means that “it looks like this is really data loss and won’t be back-filled.”
Performance report. The Google Search Console performance report is a report many marketers rely on to see how much visibility and traffic Google Search sends a site. It shows you impressions, clicks, average position in search results; click through rate; and any special features (such as rich results) associated with your results. Learn more about this report over here.
Example of data loss. There are plenty of examples on Twitter of shocking graphs showing huge declines in clicks and impressions in the performance report. But you are not alone, many are noticing this as well. The issue is, if the data looks normal to you, I would not assume all the data is there. You are probably missing data and I would think it is safe to assume you had a better performing day than what Search Console is telling you on August 23rd and 24th.
Here is one tweet showing a decline but there are tons:
Why we care. It is important that you annotate this data glitch in your own reporting or client reporting. Google has added an annotation to the Search Console reports but do not forget, that data on August 23rd and 24th is likely gone forever. I would think it is safe to say you had more impressions and clicks on those days than what Google is showing you. But make sure to communicate the data issue with your clients when you do your monthly reporting.