Many websites in the US have been lazy about how they have handled the GDPR changes, and that’s causing some trouble for Google.
For more about this, check out this post from Search Engine Roundtable.
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If you’re not familiar with GDPR, it’s the “General Data Protection Regulation” that came out earlier this year from the EU. While it’s focused on EU users, there are some potential impacts if you have a website in the United States. There are ways to handle it properly, but some sites have simply blocked all EU users to make this simple, but this is causing trouble for Google.
The problem is that Google primarily crawls websites from the US, so the site looks good to them. If an EU user performs a search, that site may pop up for them, but then when they try to visit the site they find it blocked. Google admits that it’s not a good user experience for this to happen, but it’s tricky to solve.
As Google’s John Mueller said: “This is an unfortunate side-effect from us primarily crawling from the US (it’s unpractical to crawl from all locations & websites would hate us for it). I agree it’s a bad user experience, and it is something we’ve been looking into to find other solutions for.”
It’s a tricky problem, and no one is sure what Google might do about it. If you have a site that does this, though, you may want to consider finding a more nuanced way to approach GDPR rather than just blocking all EU users.