Google has reported that during the period of March 10–23, 2021, it’s possible that you may see a drop in data in the Google Search Console Crawl Stats Report.
The key takeaway is that this is just a drop related to internal reporting. There is no need to panic over your page fetch results, because that performance has not actually changed.
What Is the Google Search Console Crawl Stats Report?
The Crawl Stats report shows you statistics related to how Google crawls your site. You can find it in the Google Search Console (GSC) by clicking on Settings and then Crawl stats:
This will pull up the following report:
This is the Crawl Stats report. If you rollover the little information i, this marks when Google has some sort of update or internal reporting issue that does not affect your search performance:
What Does the Crawl Stats Report Show?
From figuring out your existing crawl budget to establishing crawl limits (if desired), you can look at many specifics regarding your site’s crawlability by identifying certain metrics in the Crawl Stats report.
In short, it shows you how many times, and when, that Google decides to crawl your site.
It’s important to note that Crawl Stats reporting is usually behind by a couple of days, so you shouldn’t take it as a to-the-minute report on your site’s actual numbers.
That’s regular reporting in general, and is not related to this issue.
Google Search Console Crawl Stats Report Also Shows 404s and Broken Redirects
Say that you have recently had a site migration, and you’re having trouble figuring out the source of certain 404s and broken redirects.
In the Search Console Crawl Stats report, you’ll see a list of certain URLs that Google is crawling that are ending up as 404s.
If you analyze the source domain that’s part of the site migration, you can identify such URLs.
This will help you find any issues with your overall 301 redirect plan.
By the way, it’s worth noting that GSC does report on the destination URL. This means that a new URL results in a 404, but the redirect does not. This means that your 404 is actually on the new domain, but the reporting shows it for the old one.
Such scenarios can create confusion if you’re not expecting them, so it’s important to keep these issues in mind as you examine your reports.
How Much Should You Worry?
Not all that much. This issue is something that’s only limited to the Crawl Stats report, and does not impact any of your normal Google search performance.
If, however, you are working on anything that requires the use of Crawl Stats reports in particular, just be mindful of the fact that you may not be able to use these reports accurately during the specified time period of March 10–23.
You will run into issues with data accuracy if you’re trying to use reports from that timeframe to assess the health of your site’s overall accessibility.