For a brief moment on the 19th of August, marketers and businesses began to celebrate. What was first reported by Barry Schwartz of Search Engine Land was all too good to be true. Google had finally de-indexed Ripoff Report, the website that allows people to anonymously air their grievances against people and companies without fear of reprisal.
Sure enough, a search for the site with numerous keyword terms failed to return results for the controversial website. Founded by Ed Magedson, the site has been met with resistance from the business community, many of whom claim that the site extorts them into its corporate advocacy program.
The 19th was a sign of hope for many who would like the site to go way permanently. Twitter blew up with comments expressing joy over the de-indexing. “Could this be the best day on the internet this year?” wrote one Twitter user.
Of course, the joy did not last long. As predicted by another Twitter user, “it’s happened before, but it never lasts,” Ripoff Report was appearing again in Google. No comment from Google about how or why it was removed, but there is speculation.
“I’m theorizing a G employee made an error while processing a defamation removal request,” wrote another Twitter user. In a follow-up article, this time on SEO Roundtable, Schwartz asks users for their theories. While we may never know why Ripoff Report disappeared for brief moment, we can be sure that when it becomes permanent, there will be partying across the United States.