How To Remove URLs From The Google Index & Google SERPs
There will come times when you would want to remove a certain URL from Google. This may be because of many different reasons such as that page is no longer there or you have moved the page somewhere else. When that happens and the URL is visible on Google then users will be redirected to a 404 page. That is a big problem for your website SEO.
You solve this either by availing SEO services in Australia or you can do it yourself. Below is a simple guide as to how you can remove a certain URL from Google.
Use Google Search Console
The first thing you need to do is integrate Google search console tool with your website. It allows you to manage the pages you want indexed and removed from Google SERPs.
Here’s how to remove a URL using Google Search Console:
Select your website under “Please select a property”
Then Click the “temporarily hide” button and enter your URL
Click “Submit Request”
With that, Google will add that URL to a removal request and the status will show as pending. Google will remove the URL and clear its cache from its index for about 90 days.
After 90 days the URL will come back again on Google index if it is still live on the website.
To permanently remove a URL, we will show you how its done.
The application of noindex meta tag
To permanently remove a URL from Google index or not allowing the Google bot to crawl and index a new URL, the application of noindex meta tag within the HTML code of the website is a common practice.
Here’s what it looks like:
This noindex tag usually is accompanied with the nofollow tag that means to complete block the URL from the Google bot
You can add this code manually to your website if you have access to the HTML code.
But if you are website is using a CMS like WordPress then there are certain plugins such as Yoast SEO that are providing the option to block the page from the front end.
All you have to do is go to the page after logging in the WordPress dashboard, then head to the page you want to block. Over there go down to the Yoast settings in that go to the “advanced settings.” There you will see an option “Allow search engines to show this Post in the search results?” it is usually set to default that is Yes, change it to no.
For the nofollow tag, just below is the option that says “Allow search engine to follow the post.” Find it and change it to no.
This will block the Google bot from the crawling the page ever again and after it is removed from the Google index it will not be indexed again.
Just remember that it may take Google several days to remove the URL from its index. Sometimes it does it within a day and sometimes it takes longer than usual.
Delete the URL
Other options include deleting the page that is no longer of any use to your website. Once you delete the page it will show 404 error whenever someone visits the page from Google.
Now you can do two things, either wait for Google to remove the URL itself after the bot crawls the URL and identifies the page as 404. Or you can be quick and remove the URL from the Google search console.
It is better to remove it yourself as the longer it is there, it will increase the bounce rate of your website and leaves a bad impression.
In other cases, you may have moved away the page or the content to another page. When this happens the page will show 404, but as the page was ranking and had great inbound traffic, you can ask your SEO experts to use 301 redirect to redirect the traffic to the new page once they click on the URL.
You can add plugins to do that as well.
The robots.txt file
Another method is to use the robots.txt file to block away the URLs and instructing Google from ever crawling the page.
You can add the Yoast Plugin in your website and use it to edit your Robots.txt file. Also, you can use the robots.txt tester to test all the URLs allowed and blocked on Google. You can use the disallow command to stop Google from crawling a certain URL.
This way you can block any URL from getting crawled by the Google bot. You can also block many other bots from crawling your website entirely like the Yahoo bot or bing bot.
Removing The Website From Google
Well, you can block the whole website from the Robots.txt file by using the code below and submitting it to Google and updating the robots file in your website.
Then you can use the noindex tag on all the pages of your website. You can also use plugins to block the website from getting indexed.
Remember you would need to remove the URLs from Google by the search console after blocking them otherwise it will take a lot of time before Google removes them.
So this is how you can remove the URLs of your website from the Google index and SERPs.