There are different ways of removing URLs from Google, which depends on your circumstances. You may need a way to delete things from the Google search results. For instance, if you have removed a page from your website and don’t want it to show up on Google Search results or if you want to remove low-quality pages from the index due to some SEO reasons.
Here are the few easy methods to remove URLs from Google search result:
Method 1: Delete URL using Google Search Console
You can use Google search console to remove URLs from Google search belonging to your website. And if you don’t have a Google search console, you need to start by submitting and verifying your site. Google Search Console is an essential tool for managing your site’s appearance and performance in search.
Here’s how you can delete a URL using Google Search Console:
- Visit the Remove URLs tool here: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/url-removal
- Then choose your website under “Please select a property”
- Click on the grey button, enter your URL and then click “Continue”
- Click “Submit Request”
It will delete the URL from Google search for about three months and will also delete the URL from Google’s cache. Your URL can show as’ pending’ for removal, but you can still cancel your request by clicking ‘Cancel’.
But remember that this method is just a temporary one. If the URL you deleted is still live on your site after three months, then Google will automatically add it back to the index, and the URL will start showing in the search results again.
Method 2: Use Meta Tag NOINDEX
It is the most common method to delete URLs from search results, or you can say to stop them from getting indexed in the first place.
<meta name=”robots” content=”noindex” />
The above mentioned is a small code snippet in the head section of the HTML of your site. This way it notifies Google and other search engines not to show the page in search results.
In place of “noindex”, sometimes it just says “no index, follow”. Both of them will have the same results. This code can be manually added to your website if you have access to the HTML code. If by chance, you use a CMS(content management system) like WordPress, then most good SEO plugins give options to index individual pages and posts. Here’s how the option looks in Yoast SEO, which is the most commonly used WordPress SEO plugin.
This will add the noindex meta tag to the head section. Under ‘Allow search engines to show this post in the search results’ Then change from “Default” to “No”.
When you add the noindex tag to web pages, then they are likely to disappear from search the following time the search engine robot visits them. Although, no indexed URLs can sometimes take time from days to even weeks to drop out of the search results. But if you want things to be done quickly, then Google’s outdated content removal tool is the best method to get a non-indexed. In this way, URLs can be removed as early as possible.
The longer the noindex tag is present on the pages, they won’t be shown in the search results again unless the tag is removed. The noindex meta tag can also delete the pages from other search engines like Yahoo and Bing.
Use NOINDEX to deindex the entire website
However, when you add noindex to your entire website, it can remove all your website pages from search engines. This process can be done by going into the WordPress dashboard –> Settings –> Reading. Then click on the box that says “Discourage search engines from indexing this site.”
This is useful in case you have a new site and don’t want anyone to see it. But never use it on a live site until you are willing to lose all of your search traffic.
Method 3: Delete the URL
If the URL you want to remove doesn’t serve any purpose, you can delete it from your site. This will make it return a 404 (Not Found) error. Googlebot will try to crawl the URL again and delete it from the index when it sees the 404 error.
Sometimes, the page you want to remove may have good website traffic or inbound links that offer SEO, which is of value. For the user experience and SEO, it is better to use a 310 redirect to redirect the users and search engine bots to a closely related page. You could generate 310 redirects in WordPress with the free Redirection plugin.
How to remove a URL from a site that is not yours?
If you come across a URL that has content similar to your website, on another website, you can file a claim depending on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Google has introduced the Copyright Removal Tool, and by using this tool, you can perform an action called DMCA takedown.
You can further forward your request for the removal of any copyrighted material or content. Or else you can also send a requisition to the web host company of the website that has displayed your content. And hence they will be compelled to delete your content from their website.
How can you remove an entire website from Google?
You can add the noindex tag to every page on the site if you want to remove an entire website from Google. There is also another way by using a free plugin you can block the entire site with a password. It can stop your pages from getting indexed in Google search.
You could also block your site from being crawled by search engine robots by adding this– User-agent: *Disallow: / to your robots.txt file.
If you want to remove URLs from Google search results, it depends on priority, and you should decide that level of priority.
By following these simple methods, you can erase any unwanted URLs at any time. You have to ensure that the URLs being removed from the search results do not impact your search traffic. These things should be kept in mind while removing URLs.