If you want to extract information off Google completely, there are steps you need to take. By just deleting content from a website does not mean that the material has been removed from Google’s search engine.
In some situations, we want to remove content from Google altogether. There are many reasons why someone may wish to remove information for Google.
Sensitive information may have been leaked and is now showing up in the Google search engine. Information that is no longer relevant for your business still comes up, confusing customers.
Whatever the reason is, it is vital to learn how to delete data from Google. Here is a guide on how to remove URLs from Google.
First method: use the Google Search Console
A simple way to remove URLs belonging to your website is by using the Google Search Console. You need to make sure you have submitted and verified your website.
This is a valuable tool and can also be used to managing your site’s performance in search. It can also maintain the appearance of your website.
- You must first visit the Remove URLs tool through the Google Search Console.
- Next, select your website under the heading named “Please Select a Property.”
- Then click the grey button, enter your website URL, and click the “Continue” button.
- Lastly, select the “Submit Request” button.
This is a temporary fix. Filling out this request will remove the URL from Google search for around 90 days. This URL will be removed from Google’s cache, as well.
The interface should show that your link is pending for removal. If you would like, you can cancel your request to delete the URL by simply click the “Cancel” icon.
Remember, this method will only temporarily remove your URL.
If the URL is still on your website after 90 days, Google with typically add it back into search results. If that is the case, your URL is not entirely deleted.
Second method: using the nonindex meta tag
Using the noindex meta tag is one of the most commonly done ways of removing a URL from Google. It also will prevent your website from getting indexed right off the bat.
This method comes in the form of a small code snippet. It is in the head section of your websites HTML. This will tell Google and other platforms not to show your page in search results.
Here is what the noindex meta tag looks like:
<meta name="robots" content="noindex" />
There is a chance that it will say no “noindex, follow” instead of “noindex.” Make sure you are aware of that fact; however, it will not influence anything.
If you have access to the HTML code, you can add this code yourself. If your website is created and managed through a system like WordPress, they will typically provide plugin options to noindex separate pages or posts.
The most commonly used WordPress SEO plugin is named Yoast SEO. Here is an example of how the option will look:
To add the noindex meta tag to the head section, go under the option that says, “Allow Search Engines to Show This Post in the Search Results?”
It will say default, which allows search engines to direct people to the URL. Click the option labeled “No.”
Following these steps should give you what you want. The next time Google’s search engine robot tries to visit your URL, the noindex tag should make your result disappear.
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Gary Henry, a content expert, says, “keep in mind that noindexed URLs might no be deleted from search results right away. Sometimes it can take days or even weeks for this to happen.”
One way to speed up the process is by using Google’s Outdate Content Removal tool. If the noindex tag is available on the website, then they should never turn up on search results unless it is removed.
This method is convenient as it will remove your URL from all search engines, not just Google.
By going to the WordPress dashboard, click on Settings, and then Reading.
Select the checkbox that reads “Discourage Search Engines from Indexing This Site.” A great time to use this option is when you are in the alpha and beta stages of creating your website. You do not want potential clients ending up on an unfinished product.
If you use this on a site that is ready for customers, then it will stop all traffic to your website via search.
Following this method is the most popular way of removing your URL from Google.
Third method: the deletion of your URL
You can delete your URL. Only choose this option if your URL serves no purpose to you or your business.
If web users end up on the link, a 410 (Gone) or 404 (Not Found) error will come up. The URL will be removed from the index once the Googlebot tries to access it and realizes it was deleted.
Another situation is when the link you want to be removed has SEO value through inbound links and continuous traffic.
It might be a better option to redirect the traffic. The 301-redirect message will pop up and redirect whoever clicks the link to a similar page.
The 301-redirect method is advantageous, and you can create in WordPress by using the Redirection plugin.
Lillian Jacobs, a conversion manager, reminds you about robots.txt. She says, “People will sometimes rely on robots.txt to tell search engine robots what they cannot pull up for web searches. It is located on your root domain. This is, however, not always the best solution if someone links to the URL. Even though the page is blocked, the link can still show up on Google.“
In place of a description, the search writing will remark, “A description for this result is not available because of this site’s robots.txt.”
Even though the results are no available, Google is still indexing the page. If this is happening, it ends up being better for Google to crawl the URLs.
But instead, use the second method in the guide, noindex tag, to keep the website out of Google’s search results.
These methods are the most popular ways to remove a URL from Google’s search results.
How to remove your entire website from Google
If you want to remove a complete website from Google, the best way is to remove every single page on the site via method two. It’s a tedious task, but using the noindex tag for every URL associated with the website is the more practical option.
There are also plugins out there, and some are even free. These plugins will allow you to block and entire site from Google.
This will stop your URLs from the indexing of Google search.
Furthermore, you can halt search engine robots crawling your site. Add the following to your robots.txt file:
Google URL Removal Tool
Another way to remove that you own or control from Google is using the official Google URL Removal tool. However, in order to delete content from the search engine index, you must remove it from your site first. There are a couple of ways of doing this. The first way is to fill out a request for removal without removing it from your website forever. Here are steps for removing a URL from Google using this form:
- First, make sure you are logged into your Google accounts
- Head to Google Webmaster Tools and select the new removal request.
- Paste the correct website URL that you want to remove from Google and then select continue.
- Once you have clicked on “Remove this Page,” you will see your URL removal is pending.
- It does not happen right away. It will take a few minutes or hours to be removed.
Remember, only the URL that was used in this process will be removed from Google. If you want other URLs removed, you need to repeat this process with them.
A lot of times, larger websites have different URLs linked to the same content.
These websites need to use the Google URL Removal Tool for each link. Make sure you are thorough when going through the process of URL removal. To help you out with this, you can do a query in Google for your website.
You can use this tool to remove images, as well. It is a simple process. Follow these three steps to remove an image.
- Copy the URL of the image you want to be removed from Google
- Paste the image URL into the Google URL Removal tool
- Click okay
For some reason, you may find yourself wanting to cancel the request for removal. If that is the case, you can go to Google Search Console and delete the application. To do this follow these steps:
- Find your Google Search Console account
- Select “Google Index,” then “Remove URLs.”
- Click on “Show:removed” from the menu that is on the right above the table
- Locate the URL that you want to re-index. Select “Re-include“
- The URL has now been re-indexed. It will take between three to five business days to reinstate it.
There are also times when you shouldn’t use the Google URL Removal Tool. Some cases have been listed by Google stating occasions when the tool should not be used.
An example is if search display results link to a website page has already been deleted.
Google removes this themselves. Another example is if you are trying to manipulate what is seen by web users. If you use the tool, it will remove everything, so it is counterintuitive to use it.
Removing URLs from a website that you do not own
This task is more complicated than eliminating URLs from sites you hold yourself. There are times when you need to remove URLs from websites you don’t own.
Maybe a website has taken or copied your unique content.
At this point, you would fill out a form to Google called a DMCA Takedown Request.
The best way to start is by submitting the DMCA Takedown Request to the web platform that is hosting the individual website.
This will tell the platform that a website that they are helping has copied content on it.
Hopefully, this will force them to take it down. Another option is submitting the DMCA Takedown Request directly to Google.
Unfortunately, it is usually challenging to get the copied content taken down.
Typically, the best reason for a website to take down the copied content is if there are legal repercussions. Reaching out to the site directly and asking for removal may be your best tactic.
Removing your URL from Bing or Yahoo
You need to make sure that your website has been added and verified on Bing Webmaster Tools. Once it is, you can utilize this to delete your URLs from Bing along with Yahoo. To do this follow these steps:
- Find the tool and login.
- Select “Configure My Site.” Next, click “Block URLs” and enter the URL you do not want to show up in search results. Once you have entered the URL, click “Block URLs and Cache.“
Doing this will remove the URL from Bing and Yahoo search results. However, this tool is just like Google’s and is only a temporary option.
After 90 days, the URLs will appear in the search results again. URLs must be permanently removed by using method 2, the no-index tag route.
Removing URLs from Google and other search engines like Bing and Yahoo is critical for a business.
URLs need to be removed for many reasons, including if old information that would confuse the customer is still coming up in Google search, or someone is using content that has been stolen from you.
Use this guide to remove URLs from Google successfully.
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