Given that it’s the most widely used online search engine in the world, Google rankings can make or break websites. There’s an entire search engine optimization industry that’s aimed at improving websites’ chances of being crawled and getting a decent ranking. However, some prefer to not surface in Google search results. The company had previously committed to the FTC that it would allow websites to opt out of showing in search results. Even though the commitment has now expired, Google says that it will continue to offer this option.

Google settled an antitrust investigation by the FTC back in 2012 by promising to change its behavior in several areas. The commitments it made included removing AdWords restrictions that made it harder for advertisers to run multi-platform campaigns and giving websites the option to opt out of being displayed in search results and having their content crawled.

Both commitments that Google made to the FTC back in 2012 have expired as of December 27th, 2018. It’s under no obligation to continue honoring them but Google has said in a letter to the FTC that it will honor them.

“We believe that these policies provide additional flexibility for developers and websites, and we will continue them as policies after the commitments expire,” Google confirmed in the letter.

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