Google Q&A Drops 55%. What is Going on?

Starting on October 10th, we noticed a steep drop in the number of questions and answers that were showing in Google Business Profiles. My inbox literally blew up with notifications of Q&A’s being removed.

A few days later, the question was raised by Ben Fisher in the Local Search Forum and it was confirmed that the issue was Google-wide.

Google Q&A counts across all sites monitored by GatherUp from October 1, 2019, to November 6, 2019

Google Questions didn’t just disappear. They came and went, some days dropping by 90%. Other days saw Questions bouncing up and then completely returning only to be lost again. Barbara Oliver Jewelry’s original count of 11 dropped to 4, then 1, bounced back up to 7, and then back down to 4. Some days the front page count matched reality and on others it did not. Today, last I looked, they were back up to 10.

If a Question had an Answer, it also disappeared. Although they appear to not be “lost” they remain MIA.

We took a look at the number of Google Questions across the sites we monitor to see what was happening and exactly how many Questions had disappeared, or not. As of November 6th, 2019, we saw 55% fewer Google Questions than we had seen in early October.

The total number of Google Questions across sites monitored by GatherUp has declined 55% since October 1st, 2019

Ben Fisher of SteadyDemand asked Google (via the private Product Expert forum) exactly what was happening. He noted that even if a question had disappeared from view if a user started typing a question that could be answered by that lost question, it would show as an answer.

Google finally indicated that they were investigating and would let us know.

While we all wonder what is going on with Google Q&A and what is causing the volatility, we just don’t really know yet. All we can do for now is sit tight and wait for Google to make up our minds.

About The Author

Mike Blumenthal is a co-founder of GatherUp and helps oversee our research, industry insight and agency offering. Mike has long been regarded as the foremost expert on local search and Google Maps, earning the nickname “Professor Maps”. Mike also co-founded Local University, which provides small business and agency training in sustainable local search marketing. His motto: All Local All the Time.  He writes at his blog and does a twice a week LocalU podcast about Local marketing. 

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