In a Google Hangout this morning on Google+, Google’s John Mueller said at the 43:45 mark that Google doesn’t use contact information on a web site, i.e. if they have it or not, as a ranking signal for organic rankings.
The question posed was “can missing contact information on news magazine cause worse ranking in Google News or Google news snippet in organic search?”
John Mueller said he can’t answer for Google News, but for “normal web search. I don’t think we look at things like contact information on a web page.” He said his personal opinion, it is a bad user experience to not have a way to contact the owner or webmaster of the site but for ranking, it isn’t a signal for core web search.
Here is John’s full answer:
I don’t know about Google News so I can’t comment on that.
With regards to normal web search. I don’t think we look at things like contact information on a web page. So that is probably not something that we focus on for web search rankings.
From a personal point of view, I really appreciate it when contact information is there because that means we could potentially contact you when things go wrong. So this is a case that happens every couple of days, where someone from the indexing team will come to us and say hey, this web site did something completely stupid, they accidentally put not index on all of their pages or they robots.txt everything out. Can you contact the webmaster to fix this thing so it doesn’t cause any problems for them in search. And if we have no way of contacting this webmaster because there is no contact information on the web site, then we can’t really help out in a case like this.
Obviously this is a bit of an edge case and doesn’t happen to most web sites but in a lot of cases, there are situations where people might say I’d want to let the webmaster know about this thing on their web site that they don’t have exactly correct or broken or maybe I comment about something on the web site. If I can’t contact them at all, then maybe that is kind of frustrating.
Espesially if you are a news web site and there is no way to contact you, that seems like a bad user experience.
Here is the video embed:
Forum discussion at Google+.