Wondering if anyone has seen this lately for their sites. I work for a healthcare system. We have GMBs (with UTMs) set up for our providers that point to their individual provider pages on our website, which isn't perfect by any stretch, but does pretty well organically. These provider pages have their names, specialties, credentials, location(s), and can have a bio, etc.

Previous to early December 2021, providers would rank on the 1st page of Google AND have their GMB panel appear OR appear in the local pack #1-3.

Cut to December 2021 and providers who were ranking on page 1 AND had a GMB panel or two now only have the panel/maps listing appearing. I know this because Google Search Console stopped reporting clicks from the non-UTM link (though the date is not the same for everyone -- some are Dec. 5, some are later in the month, like around Dec. 18) because the page just disappeared. GSC shows the non-UTM page as indexed, though it can't fetch the live test. (Our company has firewalls galore up during the week, so this has never really bothered me.) We have the pages in question in sitemaps, which are being read often. UTM pages are not indexed.

I'm not sure if this is related to the Vicinity Update, but I'm finding nothing online documenting this. Our site also upgraded from Drupal 8-->Drupal 9 around the same time as the Vicinity rollout and my tech side fears *something* happened (though I don't know what). Also though this could be from the Diversity Update, but again, no documentation about it. Any insights or theories would be greatly appreciated.
 

Colan Nielsen

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Hey @LizP if you are still seeing them in the 3-pack even after the Vicinity update, it is likely not related to that update as it didn't seem to have an impact on the localized organic results. And it sounds like that is where you are seeing the drop.

You mentioned that you are gauging this based on search console clicks. Were impressions impacted as well? Do you use any rank reporting software such as Bright Local that takes screenshots of the SERP? Comparing the current organically ranking results to when you were ranking would be insightful. ie. which sites jumped ahead? What are they doing that you aren't?
 

LizP

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Hey @LizP if you are still seeing them in the 3-pack even after the Vicinity update, it is likely not related to that update as it didn't seem to have an impact on the localized organic results. And it sounds like that is where you are seeing the drop.

You mentioned that you are gauging this based on search console clicks. Were impressions impacted as well? Do you use any rank reporting software such as Bright Local that takes screenshots of the SERP? Comparing the current organically ranking results to when you were ranking would be insightful. ie. which sites jumped ahead? What are they doing that you aren't?

Thanks for the reply! I did some more digging (I'm sure some would be like "and this wasn't your first stop because...), and found that at the end of December, in our coverage report, our valid (Indexed) pages dropped and correspondingly, the number of "crawled, but not indexed" pages increased, by like 13k. Still trying to figure out WHY, but at least I know I'm not going crazy here.

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To my knowledge, we didn't do anything differently. Still have our sitemaps updating. The sampling of pages I'm able to pull don't show any real pattern that I can detect so far (though I've only figured out how to download 1,000 of them, so any insights into downloading more of the 32K would be appreciated!)
 

Justin Mosebach

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Hi Liz,

Google Search Console just updated their API to include individual URL inspections. This might be a way to get a larger list of URLs that are excluded (etc).
 

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