Bug in Google Search Console performance reports impact Google Discover reporting
Google has acknowledged a bug within the performance reports in Google Search Console that impacted reporting around Google Discover traffic.
The bug. Between December 8 and December 13, 2019, Google Discover impressions and clicks may not have been accurately reported. Google wrote, “Because of an internal issue, you will see a data drop in the Performance report for Discover during this period.”
Resolved. Google said Monday, “This issue has been fixed.” The data seems to be lost, but going forward, you should not see this issue after the 13th.
No real impact. This did not affect your site’s performance or real traffic. This was just a reporting glitch. Google wrote, “Please note that this does not reflect any user-facing changes for your site, only the data reporting in Search Console.”
Google Discover. Google Discover is the name for Google Feed and shows you topics and news items around items that interest you. With Google Discover you can get information about your interests, like your favorite sports team or news site, without searching for them. The feed can show up on Google’s mobile app, mobile home page or even the Google.com desktop home page.
Google Discover reports. Google added reporting for Google Discover traffic to Google Search Console this past April. There is no other good way to track your Google Discover traffic, as Google does not pass along referrer data that helps you differentiate the traffic. So you are reliant, mostly, on Google Search Console data.
Why we care. If your site gets a lot of traffic from Google Discover and you noticed a dip in traffic based on the reporting from Google Search Console. There is no need to worry. It was likely a reporting bug. You can try to see if your overall Google traffic changed in Google Analytics or your other analytics tools. But just note that between December 8th and 13th, there was a reporting glitch related to the Google Discover performance reports in Google Search Console.
About The Author
Barry Schwartz is Search Engine Land’s News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on SEM topics.