Google’s John Mueller said on Twitter that Google does not manually hand rank any web page. He added the web is too big for that and if they tried, it would be impossible.
Here are the tweets that show this conversation:
No – the web is gigantic, and doing that manually would be impossible.
— 🍌 John 🍌 (@JohnMu) April 19, 2019
This is not anything new – Google has said this before. In fact, Google in 2011 had to discuss whitelists – does Google maybe have a whitelist to prevent specific sites from getting hit by specific negative algorithms. Back then, Google’s John Mueller said no whitelists saying “generally don’t have a white-list for our algorithms, but our algorithms are regularly updated.” But then Matt Cutts admitted a bit later that they do have some whitelists on an algorithm by algorithm basis – although Panda and Penguin did not.
Whitelists is not the same thing as hand ranking specific web pages. It just says this algorithm should not ding or promote a specific site – it is an exception to a rule. Hand ranking sites, like the old Yahoo Directory or ODP, is a hard and time consuming thing to do.
Forum discussion at Twitter.