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.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    Richard, Feb 26th, 2010 @ 9:36am

    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

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Hulser (profile), Feb 26th, 2010 @ 10:28am

    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.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    fogbugzd (profile), Feb 26th, 2010 @ 10:37am

    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.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Rob.Etler (profile), Feb 26th, 2010 @ 10:52am

    Removing existing content from Internet history? The Ministry of Truth approves.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Xander C (profile), Feb 26th, 2010 @ 11:20am

      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.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        icon
        Rob.Etler (profile), Feb 26th, 2010 @ 12:27pm

        Re: Re: Ministry of Truth

        Ah, I'm sorry. You're right. I read that wrong. My bad.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          identicon
          Mac, Feb 26th, 2010 @ 1:00pm

          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.

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          •  
            icon
            Rob.Etler (profile), Feb 26th, 2010 @ 1:22pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: 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.

             

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          •  
            icon
            Xander C (profile), Feb 26th, 2010 @ 3:11pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Ministry of Truth

            My bad G, you didn't get the memo?

            All the cool people use Like, Python now when coding. It's kinda like, python, but it's Like, Python! Ya know?

            Here here, just this freshness out:
            #!usr/bin/python
            # My first Like, Python script!
            yo just print like "hello world" bro

            See that? E.Z.

             

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    btrussell (profile), Feb 26th, 2010 @ 3:36pm

    "Eventually all companies get fat and happy and assume they can't be replaced."

    "Too big to fail" ring any bells?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Will, Mar 1st, 2010 @ 4:37am

    Mac and language

    Prythee syr, whyt tongue d'ost thou speaketh?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 1st, 2010 @ 10:57am

    what about eric schimdt's mistress' blog?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    lawn mowers melbourne, Nov 26th, 2010 @ 8:23am

    thank you for this interesting information I will post a link on my blog so my readers can benefit from it also.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This