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What is 'Deindexed by Google'?

Learn all about digital marketing, we have built this glossary to help you understand everything to thrive in online marketing and promoting your website or business.

What is 'Deindexed by Google'?
Deindexing by Google refers to the act of removing a webpage or an entire website from Google’s search index. Once a site is deindexed, it no longer appears in search engine results, regardless of how relevant its content might be to a given search query. This act is a result of an intentional decision either by the website owner or more commonly, due to Google’s response to the violation of its quality guidelines.
One of the contributing factors leading to deindexing is engaging in Black Hat SEO techniques such as keyword stuffing, cloaking, using duplicate content, and participating in link schemes. The aim is always to deliver high-quality and relevant content to users, and any attempts to manipulate this can lead to deindexing.
However, not all deindexing is penal; a website owner might want to intentionally deindex certain pages that are not relevant to users or that might undermine SEO efforts. This is done using the “noindex” meta tag.
'Deindexed by Google's' Role in Digital Marketing
In digital marketing, being indexed by Google is vital for visibility; falling off the index can spell disaster. The more visible your website is to search engines, the greater its chances of gaining attention and attracting prospective customers. Thus, avoiding deindexing is crucial to a successful digital marketing strategy.
The understanding of Google deindexing can help webmasters maintain compliance with Google’s guidelines, ensuring their site remains in good standing. They can quickly rectify issues that could lead to deindexing, such as removing toxic backlinks or eliminating duplicate content.
Moreover, with understanding deindexing, webmasters can intentionally influence pages to be deindexed that could detract the effectiveness of a website's SEO. For instance, quality irrelevant pages or archived pages that might dilute the website’s relevance could be deindexed consciously.
'Deindexed by Google' Examples
Many high-profile examples of Google deindexing have made headlines in the SEO world. In 2011, the retail giant JCPenney was deindexed temporarily after Google determined it had violated guidelines by buying backlinks to improve its SEO rankings. This incident emphasizes the danger of employing black-hat SEO techniques.
In another case, the entire BMW Germany website was deindexed by Google in 2006 for using doorway pages, another prohibited technique designed to manipulate search rankings. The site was later reinstated after it complied with Google’s guidelines.
An intentional deindexing example would be of an e-commerce business choosing to deindex out-of-stock or discontinued product pages. Keeping such pages indexed could lead to a bad user experience, hence, they may want them deindexed until they are restocked or updated.