Yes, Google Will Even Delete Its Own Employees' Sites From Google Index If They Screw Up

from the it-ain't-personal dept

Over the years, we’ve seen plenty of people get mad and sue Google over getting either dropped from Google’s index, or simply ranked really low on certain searches. And, of course, for some there are always totally unsubstantiated conspiracy theories about Google purposely “punishing” a company or individual it doesn’t like. To date, however, there’s been no evidence at all that Google acts in such a capricious manner when it comes to rankings. If the company did so, and it ever came out, the hit to Google’s reputation would be something fierce. It’s even more ridiculous when you consider that all of the accusations of such personal attacks seem to come from tiny companies — hardly any kind of threat to Google, anyway.

That said, if you want even more evidence that Google’s ranking decisions aren’t personal, but actually are based on what its system feels will give the best possible results, witness the story of Google employee Jason Morrison, who recently discovered that his own personal site had be delisted from Google. It actually took him a few weeks to notice this, but once he did, and dug into the issue (using Google’s public tool and his own site’s admin tools) he quickly realized that he had made a mistake that caused Google’s crawlers to believe that his site was no longer up.

Now, that certainly doesn’t preclude the possibility that Google takes revenge on sites it doesn’t like, but it’s at least more evidence that the ranking system really is pretty algorithmically focused — and even Google employees aren’t immune to being delisted for screwing up. If your site gets delisted from Google, it’s not personal.

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Companies: google

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Comments on “Yes, Google Will Even Delete Its Own Employees' Sites From Google Index If They Screw Up”

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13 Comments
Richard (profile) says:

I spent the better part of my professional life in the seedy underworld of SEO … I know, for a fact that Google has a very serious no intervention (unless dictated by the law) policy with regards to it’s algorithm. Even when we were gaming the system, getting top ranking on everything valuable and trashing the SERPs with SEO Spam, they never once manually altered the SERPs directly. They instead, used the techniques that we employed as a method to improve the Algo .. What a wacky idea

Hulser (profile) says:

Risk/reward

If the company did so, and it ever came out, the hit to Google’s reputation would be something fierce.

I agree with your overall point, but I don’t think the fact that a particular behavior would put a company’s reputation at risk says much about whether or not a company would actually do it. If this were the case, Enron would never have fudged their accounting numbers. And, for that matter, Tiger Woods would have never cheated on his wife. These kinds of decisions are based on risk/reward, not just risk.

fogbugzd (profile) says:

Small companies are a big threat

>>It’s even more ridiculous when you consider that all of the accusations of such personal attacks seem to come from tiny companies — hardly any kind of threat to Google, anyway.

This statement is completely inaccurate. IBM didn’t think a tiny company named Microsoft would be a threat to them. And in turn, I am sure that execs at Microsoft giggled the first time they heard that someone had named their tiny company a silly name like Google. The biggest threat to Google is probably a small company that no one ever heard of that figures out a better way to do something that is one of Google’s core businesses.

Eventually all companies get fat and happy and assume they can’t be replaced. That is never the case. Companies like the record labels have delayed the inevitable, but once any company assumes that the current market conditions will keep them in power forever, that company is doomed to fail, and to fail with amazing speed in some cases.

Xander C (profile) says:

Re: Ministry of Truth

His blog didn’t disappear, it’s just the relevance of his blog that disappeared when the crawlers kept returning home empty handed.

Any other search engine may or may-not of found him, but on Google, he was positively falling down the ranks because of the issue. A quick review of Google’s own Webmaster Tools pinpointed the issue, and as a result, it took him all of 20minutes to fix everything up.

By the next day, he was king of the interwebs once more.

Mac says:

Re: Re: Re: Ministry of Truth

What is it with the comment ‘my bad’. That is the stupidest phrase since the ‘ebonics’ mess.

What’s wrong with using proper English and say something like ‘my apologies…’

Oh that’s right; this generation doesn’t know how to apologize because they think that they are always right.

God help us all.

Rob.Etler (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Ministry of Truth

It’s not very wise to make assumptions, Mr. Mac. That said, come back to me when you’ve put your High Horse back in its stable if you’d like to talk about the constantly evolving nuances of language.

If you’re interested in speaking a strictly static language, try Latin. It hasn’t been modified in 2000 years.

“Oh that’s right; this generation doesn’t know how to apologize because they think that they are always right.”

See, if I believed that, then there wouldn’t have been an apology post to begin with — thereby negating your crotchety attempt to champion the English language.

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