If you do a site command [site:www.linkedin.com] for LinkedIn on Google, you will see that it is not showing up in the search results. It seems that Google has de-indexed main www results for LinkedIn from the search results. The profile links in the knowledge graphs of people have also been disappeared.
The LinkedIn disappearance happened for around 10 hours in total, from early morning to mid-afternoon on Wednesday. The site was accessible as it wasn’t down but de-indexed from Google, but de-indexing from the search engine must have got a significant drop in traffic of the professional website.
Reason Behind This?
After this, many questions are arriving in our mind that how did this happen? There’s no official statement from Google or LinkedIn at the time, but there are few explanations that might be the reason.
1. Disallowed Crawling via Robots.txt?
LinkedIn might’ve disallowed crawling with a robot.txt. The block from the robot.txt file can create this de-indexing from the search engine. However, blocking websites using robot.txt isn’t that much immediate as it happened with LinkedIn.
2. LinkedIn May Have Removed non-https version of the website
John Mueller tweeted this morning, possibly, indirectly aiming LinkedIn by saying,
“Removing the “http://” version of your site will remove all variations(http/https/www/non-www). Don’t use the removal tools for canonicalization.”
It indicates that LinkedIn might’ve removed the non-https version of its site.
This is a strange but interesting event in the SEO world. We will link back and remember this incident as it happened.