Deindexing: Does It Officially Exist?

May 14, 2020

DarkCyber noted “LinkedIn Temporarily Deindexed from Google.” The rock solid, hard news service stated:

LinkedIn found itself deindexed from Google search results on Wednesday, which may or may not have occurred due to an error on their part. The telltale sign of an entire domain being deindexed from Google is performing a “site:” search and seeing zero results.


DarkCyber has fielded two reports of deindexing from Google in the last three days. I one case a site providing automobile data was disappeared. In another, a site focused on the politics of the intelligence sector was pushed from page one to the depths of page three.


No explanation, of course.

LinkedIn is owned by Microsoft. Is that a reason? Did LinkedIn’s engineers ignore a warning about a problem in AMP?

Google does not make errors. If a problem arises, the cause is the vaunted Google smart software.

DarkCyber’s view is that Google is taking stepped up action to filter certain types of content. We have documented that one Google office has access to controls that can selectively block certain content from appearing in the public facing Web search system. The content is indeed indexed and available to those with certain types of access.

What’s up? Here are our theories?

  1. Google is trying to deal with problematic content in a more timely manner by relaxing constraints on search engineers working in Google “virtual offices” around the world. Human judgments will affect some Web site. (Contacting Google is as difficult as it has been for the last 20 years.)
  2. Google wants to make sure that ads do not appear next to content that might cause a big spender to pull away. Google needs the cash. The thought is that Amazon and Facebook are starting to put a shunt in the money pipeline.
  3. Google is struggling to control costs. Slowing indexing, removing sites from a crawl, and pushing content that is rarely viewed to the side of the Information Superhighway reduces some of the costs associated with serving more than 95 percent of the queries launched by humans each day.

Regardless of the real reason or the theoretical ones, Google’s control over findable content can have interesting consequences. For example, more investigations are ramping up in Europe about the firm’s practices (either human or software centric).

Interesting. Too bad others affected by Google actions are not of the girth and heft of LinkedIn. Oh, well, the one percent are at the top for a reason.

Stephen E Arnold, May 14, 2020


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