Yesterday a client pushed out a new homepage without telling us. I found out because late last night I got this email in my inbox from an actual living, breathing member of Google’s Search Quality team:

Google Notification 2


Say what you will about Google (and clients who double-noindex their homepage), but this is pretty awesome.

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12 Response Comments

  • David  July 8, 2014 at 10:19 am

    Nice. Imagine that, Matt Cutts says he is leaving, and immediately Google seems nicer. I know it is just a coincidence and not trying to start anything, but it makes me chuckle to think it 🙂

    • Andrew Shotland  July 8, 2014 at 10:44 am

      The homepage noindexed email was the last straw for Cutts…

  • Linda Buquet  July 8, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    Thanks for sharing Andrew. Nice one Google!

    Big LOL David. You gave me a good chuckle too.

  • Christopher West  July 8, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    Thats pretty cool

    (and I know all about clients doing stuff without telling you)

  • Eric Marshall  July 9, 2014 at 7:33 am

    It’s interesting that they say the noindex tag will cause Google to “remove” the page.

    I was under the impression that a noindex tag would prevent them from re-indexing a page, but if a version of the page was already in the index, the only way to remove it from their index is via Google Webmaster Tools. Doing that, then using the noindex would cause the page to not be included in the index again.

    Am I wrong on that?

  • Brian Smith  July 9, 2014 at 8:03 am

    Awesome! I must admit, wouldn’t have thought to see anything like this from Google.

    I had a similar example happen to me with an e-comm site right before a major holiday, they were not as lucky. Thanks for sharing Andrew!

  • Andrew Shotland  July 9, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    Hey Eric, I have reread your comment several times and it still makes my head spin 🙂 Here’s the deal:

    Tag a page with noindex and if it’s indexed, the next time Googlebot crawls it, it will be purged from the index.

    Tag a page with noindex and if it’s not indexed, the next time Googlebot crawls it, it will still not be indexed.

  • Andrew Shotland  July 9, 2014 at 2:22 pm

    Brian, sorry to hear about your client. Fun stuff.

  • Eric Marshall  July 9, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    Thanks for the clarification Andrew. My comment was hard to follow, but you did answer my question. I didn’t realize noindex would actually remove a page from the index.


  • Zane Tuck  July 11, 2014 at 7:00 am

    Who knew Google had a heart? Wow!

  • Michael Borgelt  July 13, 2014 at 1:34 pm

    Interesting that this is from Google Zurich….

    • Andrew Shotland  July 13, 2014 at 2:47 pm

      Well they are supposed to be neutral over there…