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Does Removing Your Website From Google Hurt Your Search Engine Rankings?

Yes, I know, that is an interesting question to ask.

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You may be wondering, specifically–why would I ask a question like this? And then try to answer it. Well, it may seem like a no-brainer. Upon first thought, you might think that this is one of the dumbest questions. But let’s delve into this deeper and look at a specific example of a website that removed themselves from Google and then examine the search results a day later, after they have “undone” what they previously did–which was to remove themselves from Google.

As you might be not be aware, RipoffReport.com accidentally removed themselves from the Google search engine by entering that directive in Google Webmaster Tools. Google verified that they removed themselves–but now, less than 24 hours later, the website is now back, with hundreds of thousands of pages back in Google.

If you haven’t heard of Ripoffreport.com, it is a website that prides itself on making companies’ businesses difficult by catering to negative business reviews. Companies do not like the fact web pages from that website rank so well for their company name, and provides an overall online reputation management nightmare for lots of companies. I have heard from colleagues that the company charges as much as $16,000 or more to have their online listings removed from the website changed. That’s just a rumor, as I have no actual proof. But generally speaking, many think the business is no good–and is essentially blackmail.

But let’s get back to the question at hand. Does removing your website from Google hurt your search engine rankings? Yes, obviously if your website is not listed in Google then you aren’t going to get any traffic from Google. However, it appears that once you are re-listed, as in the case of Ripoff Report, your search engine rankings will come back–and the screen capture below show exactly what I mean.

Last night, at about 10:00pm Central Standard Time, a search for site:ripoffreport.com showed absolutely no search results in Google. But this morning, as I post this, the website is back in the Google search results. And it appears that their search engine rankings, such as a search for “Radialabs”, are back.

Does removing your website from Google hurt your search engine rankings? Yes, as long as your site is NOT in Google. But once you are back in the search engine, your rankings appear to come back, rather quickly. Keep in mind that the website was NOT banned in Google. The search engine did not remove the website. That is a big difference here, and being banned from the search engine will hurt your search engine rankings.

Check out BillHartzer.com for more articles by Bill Hartzer

Does Removing Your Website From Google Hurt Your Search Engine Rankings?
About Bill Hartzer
Bill Hartzer currently is the President of BillHartzer.com, a Strategic Online Marketing Consultancy that includes services such as search engine optimization, social media marketing, and online reputation management. Bill Hartzer formerly managed the Search Engine Marketing division of Vizion Interactive and MarketNet, leading interactive marketing and website design firms in the Dallas, Texas area. WebProNews Writer
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  • http://j.mp/RoRHome Doug

    We have never, ever removed a report in exchange for money. The rumor is completely false. Pretty sure ED has never let us remove a report, period.

  • http://www.billhartzer.com Bill Hartzer

    Thanks for the clarification, Doug. I should have said CHANGE a report, not remove one. Can Companies can pay for a report to be changed?

  • http://www.smbseo.com Mike Stewart

    Doug, so what happened? Ticked off some web programmer? Btw, we would like to know why there are no complaints for ROR on ROR?

  • http://www.artdivision.co.uk Hristo

    What will Google rank if the website has been removed?

  • http://www.billhartzer.com/ Bill Hartzer

    Hristo, what I looked at was whether or not search engine rankings changed when a website was removed from Google and then put back into Google at a later point in time, not due to a ban.

    I agree with you, there is no way that Google will rank a website if the website has been removed from their index. But when the site is restored in the index, that’s when it’s interesting to examine the rankings.

  • Karen Cotton

    re the quote: “I have heard from colleagues that the company charges as much as $16,000 or more to have their online listings removed from the website changed. That’s just a rumor, as I have no actual proof. But generally speaking, many think the business is no good–and is essentially blackmail.”

    In contrast, I’ve never heard anyone use the term “blackmail” with regard to Ripoff Report, and it has a good reputation online. There are no reports anywhere I have been able to find in internet or print-media searches claiming Ripoff Report posts incorrect information.

    Certainly, the consensus of evidence available indicates Ripoff Report is not in the habit of changing or removing reports without being provided evidence the report is inaccurate. As well, the site allows the company to post rebuttals at any time if the company feels a report is in error.

    Those things considered: perhaps you would like to post links to reputable articles, or provide names of those, claiming the business is “essentially blackmail”? If there are, in fact, many people who think this, providing examples should be quite simple.

    Also: if there are “rumors” of high charges for changing reports, you would, I’m sure, be happy to provide the name of the “colleagues” who have given you that information?

    If not, I have to wonder why you would print such a rumor, then state explicitly you have no evidence to support it except comments by colleagues, who themselves could simply have made up the rumor out of whole cloth.

    Your reponse to these queries would be most welcome, considering if your information is without foundation in that regard, I have to question whether ANY of the information you provide should be trusted.

    Moreover, if you, as the President of your company, are in the habit of making assertions absent fact, perhaps you could also explain why your company is one anyone should use? Or is the company as a whole as devoid of substance as your assertions?

    Many thanks for any actual facts you can provide,