One SEO Professional was concerned about certain fluctuations in data they had noticed as they analyzed the page experience section in Google Search Console.
One day they may have 20,000 good pages. Yet, another day that number is reduced to just 1000 pages.
During the next week, they might not see any data for the week prior.
They are seeing another picture with another date every week in Google Search Console. They are confused about what this means in terms of data and what they may need to do on their site.
John explained that this is likely an effect of how they actually track this data in Google Search Console.
He revealed that this data is heavily sampled and is based on what they see from users. They track just a specific kind of user.
When they have enough data surrounding this kind of user, then they will be able to show this in Google Search Console.
Within Search Console, after they have enough data, they will create groups of pages where they believe this set of pages is the same.
This also means, however, that if there is insufficient data, then they probably will not show it.
This is why you will see some situations where you will have a lot of data, and then it will drop again.
Over time, the overall number could go back up again.
If the good number goes down, and then the bad number goes up, then this could be a sign that there is a problem that Google is seeing in that situation.
For situations where the overall number goes down, John says he would just ignore it.
This happens at approximately the 37:27 mark in the video.
John Mueller Hangout Transcript
SEO Professional 6 37:27
Sorry. My English is very, very bad. Not very fast. We have seven projects, it is a big project. It’s a magazine – Internet Magazine. And in one of our projects, I see that on page experience, we have one day 20,000 good pages. But yesterday, I see that a good page was 1000. But on the next week, I don’t see statistics about last week. I see another picture every week. Every week I see another picture and another date. And…
Okay, do you see bad pages going up when the good pages go down? Or is it just the overall number that goes down?
SEO Professional 6 38:46
No data, no data.
Okay. So I think what is happening is you’re seeing an effect of the way that we track this data in Search Console. And it’s, it sounds very confusing. It’s probably confusing. So essentially, what we do with regards to the Core Web Vitals and the speed in general, we track the data based on what we see from users. A specific kind of user, I think that’s documented in the Chrome side. And only when we have sufficient data from users, will we be able to use that in Search Console.
And additionally, in Search Console, we create groups of pages where we think this set of pages is the same. And if we have enough data for this set of pages, then we will use that. That also means that if you have just barely enough data for that set of pages, then you could see the situation where sometimes we have enough data and then we show it. And that’s kind of the good pages that you see there.
And sometimes we don’t have enough data. And then we say, well, we don’t have any, any good pages or not– not as many good pages as before. And you see that kind of drop again. And that essentially doesn’t mean that your website is bad. It basically just means we don’t have enough data to tell. So if you see that just the overall number goes down and over time, the overall number goes back up again, then probably you’re like, you almost have enough data for us to use for that.
If you see the good number go down and the bad number go up, then that’s a sign that there’s a problem that we see there. So if just the overall number goes down, I would ignore it. I think that’s perfectly fine.
SEO Professional 6 40:59
We have seven projects, and it is our biggest project. Small projects have good data, all our projects on the same platform. It’s our platform and it is the same for all of our projects. But in [inaudible] see data, but on the biggest projects we couldn’t see data.
That sounds confusing, but it can still be the case depending on the kinds of users that are going to these pages, because we don’t take the data from all kinds of users. And the aggregation on the group of pages is kind of, I don’t know, sometimes unclear. So it can happen that you see that even on a larger website. So I would not assume offhand that this is a bad time, it would be bad if the number of bad pages were to go up. But if you’re just seeing less data from time to time, even if that’s on a weekly cycle, I don’t think that’s a problem.