As we enter 2023, Google is introducing the Google Search Status Dashboard (https://status.search.google.com/) as a tool to help keep the public informed of disruptions to its search systems such as crawling, indexing, and serving. Prior to this, Google relied on its Site Reliability Engineers (SREs) (https://sre.google/) and the Google Search Central Twitter account (https://twitter.com/googlesearchc) to provide information about major incidents.
The new dashboard has been designed by SREs with the aim of making reporting issues quick and accurate while also providing useful information about incidents in an easily accessible format. This adds an extra layer of transparency when it comes to disruptions in search systems and is part of a wider effort by Google over the past couple of years. The Google Search Status dashboard provides a comprehensive overview of any widespread issues occurring in the last 7 days, as well as their current status. A widespread issue is typically very visible externally and is monitored and alerted to by SREs (Site Reliability Engineers) in the background. This dashboard includes features such as an RSS feed for subscribers, a view of historical data, and updates on any new incidents within an hour of confirmation with SREs. Updates must also be reported within 12 hours from global staff members. The incident's start time is typically when the issue was confirmed.
Link 1: Search System Guidelines Link 2: SRE Book on Monitoring Distributed Systems Link 3: RSS Feed Link 4: Historical Data View.
Google Search Central has introduced the Search Status dashboard to provide more information about issues and incidents. The dashboard will provide status updates and potential solutions for any issue that arises. If changes need to be made in order to mitigate the issue, Google will post an update with suggestions. An incident is considered resolved when Google engineers have made adjustments to end the impact on the system. Sites may still experience effects from the incident until they are reprocessed, depending on the type of issue experienced. For more information about the dashboard, please visit our dedicated page for the Search Status dashboard or leave feedback by tweeting at @googlesearchc.
Gary Illyes of the Search Team recently posted an article examining a possible new algorithm update – referred to as the “Speed Update” – which places a greater emphasis on website speed when determining search rankings. He notes that while website speed has been a factor in search rankings since 2010, this algorithm update is designed to further prioritize factors such as page load time and time to first byte. According to Illyes, this new ‘Speed Update’ will apply only to pages that deliver the slowest experience to users and affect fewer than one percent of queries. Furthermore, he states that the intent of the change is for users to have access to more relevant, faster results and not for webmasters with faster sites to gain an unfair advantage over slower sites.