Google Search has added to its file types indexable by Google help document that it can now index Comma-Separated Values (.csv) files. I confirmed with John Mueller of Google that this is not just a help document update but a new update to Google Search in what it can index.
More details. I spotted the update this morning to the help document and wondered initially if this is new outside of just an update to a help document for clarification purposes. I reached out to John Mueller who confirmed with me on Twitter that this is newly added functionally to Google Search:
New new, not just new doc :).
— John is updating his unnamed profile name #ok (@JohnMu) August 25, 2023
The document change. Here is the new line added to the help document:
More changes. The March copy of that help page did not have CSV listed as a file type but it also didn’t have these two sections:
- Various video formats: 3GP, 3G2, ASF, AVI, DivX, M2V, M3U, M3U8, M4V, MKV, MOV, MP4, MPEG, OGV, QVT, RAM, RM, VOB, WebM, WMV, and XAP
- Various image formats: BMP, GIF, JPEG, PNG, WebP, and SVG
I am pretty sure Google was able to index those image formats and most, if not all, of those video formats. So that is probably just a clarification in those sections. But the CSV format is new in terms of actual functionality.
Why we care. If you have CSV files out on the web, Google can now index those files. That means that Google Search can show CSV files in its search results when relevant to the query. If you don’t want your CSV files in Google Search, make sure you don’t let Google index them.
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About the author
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.