Google sees spike in failed hostload exceeded error in Search Console

Google's request indexing tool may be having issues due to abuse by spammers.

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For the past several days there has been a significant increase in the number of complaints about a Google Search Console error that reads “failed hostload exceeded.” This error is happening within Google Search Console’s URL Inspection Tool after a user tries to use the “request indexing” feature.

It seems based on early communication from Google that this error is being caused by abuse by spammers that are overloading the request indexing feature within Google Search Console. Google has not officially posted a root cause or when this issue will be resolved but Google is aware of the issue.

What the error looks like. Here is a screenshot I posted, but you can find many screenshots within the Google Webmaster Help Forums.

Google Search Console Failed Hostload Exceeded 1697976527

Where is this issue. This issue only occurs after you click on “request indexing” within the URL Inspection Tool in Google Search Console. And it does not happen for all users of Search Console. To be clear, if you get this error, it does not mean Google thinks you are a spammer or trying to abuse the tool. It seems like some bad actors are causing this feature to be overloaded causes some users to see this “failed: hostload exceeded” error.

Normal indexing is fine. To be clear, normal crawling and indexing works just fine for Google. Google is crawling the web and indexing content that it normally does without any issues. This issue is only when you try to push Google to index a page using Search Console. You do not need to do that, Google can find your content through normal internal or external links, via your XML Sitemap file or other methods.

What is Google saying. John Mueller, a Google Search represented, posted on X over the weekend:

On Friday afternoon, he wrote, “We’ve been looking more at this and the other similar reports in the forum, and I don’t have a conclusive answer. It doesn’t feel as definitive as it usually is with this error, sorry … I’ll update here once we know more.”

On Sunday, he wrote, “People are spamming the Inspect URL / Submit to Indexing tool – normal indexing works fine.” “I wouldn’t worry about it – normal crawling and indexing is generally fine.,” he added.

Why we care. I wouldn’t worry about this error, in fact, I’d use this as an opportunity to step away from the “request indexing” feature and work on maybe more important SEO tasks. Such tasks can include writing new or improved content for your sites or client sites, working on improving the site’s user experience and features and looking for other content ideas for the site in the long run.

This hostload exceeded error is something Google will need to address and nothing you can fix on your end right now.

About the author

Barry Schwartz
Barry Schwartz is a Contributing Editor to Search Engine Land and a member of the programming team for SMX events. He owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry can be followed on Twitter here.

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