Eliminating URLs from Google
Many SEOs are generally focused on Getting their content in next week by Google but sometimes the very opposite thing is needed which is getting it removed quickly. The most common reason for removing URLs from Google is having duplicate or outdated content on your website. Most outdated content holds value from an SEO point of view but it can still not hold value for your visitors meanwhile duplicate content can hurt your SEO performance because Google could be in confusion about what URL to rank and index. To remove this URL from Google the particular actions depends on the context of the pages you want to get removed.
To remove URLs from Google there are many ways but there is not a single way to approach all circumstances. A very important point needs to be kept in mind that using an incorrect method not only leads to pages not being removed from the index but also can hurt SEO. If you want your content to remain accessible to visitors but you do not want Google to index them as they could hurt your SEO, this applies to duplicate content.
For example, suppose you run an online store and you offer trousers that are the same except for their different colours and sizes. Each product has a different name and image but they do not have a unique product description. Google may consider in this case that the content of the product is near-duplicate and having near-duplicate pages leads Google to decide both which URL to choose as the one to index and spend your precious budget on pages that do not add any SEO value.
You have to signal to Google in this case about which URL needs to be indexed and which need to be removed from the index. In case there is outdated content on your website and you want them not to remain accessible to visitors then there are two possible ways to handle it depending on the URLs context. Restricting access setup is best for things like internal networks, member-only content, or staging, test, or development sites. A group of users are allowed to access the page, but search engines will not be able to access them and will not index the pages. In case there is outdated content on your website and you want them not to remain accessible to visitors then there are two possible ways to handle it depending on the URLs context.
If there is traffic or links in the URL implement 301 redirects to the most relevant URLs on your website and avoid redirecting to irrelevant URLs as Google might consider this to be soft 404 errors which could lead to Google not assigning any value to the redirect target. If the URL do not have any traffic or link then return the HTTP 410 status code telling Google that the URLs were permanently removed. Google is very quick to remove the URL from its index when you use the 410 status code.
A search engine needs to be able to crawl the pages for these tags so you make sure that they are not blocked in robots.txt. and also remember that the consolidation of links and other signals may be prevented if you remove pages from the index. URLs belonging to a website you own is easy to remove using the Google search console. If you have not started yet then you need to start it by submitting and verifying your site. Google search console is a very nice and must-have tool for managing the appearance and performance of your site in search. You need to follow a very short process to remove a URL using the Google search console. That is you need to visit the remove URLs tool (https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/url) and select your website under ‘please select a property, click the grey button out there and enter your URL and click ‘continue ‘then click ‘submit request’.
Now your URL will be removed from Google search for about 90 days and it will also remove the URL from the Google cache as well. But you need to remember that this method is only temporary, if the URL is still live on your site after 90 days then it will be added back probably by Google to the index and will start showing it in the search results again. So to permanently remove a URL use another method No index meta tag which is a small code snippet in the head section of the HTML of your site. The meta robot tag works for pages whereas the x-robots response works for additional file types like PDFs and pages. It is commonly used to remove URLs from search results or prevent them from getting indexed in the first place and tells Google and other search engines not to show the page in search. It looks like <meta name=”robots “content=”no index”/> and sometimes it says ‘no index follow’ instead of just no index but both will have the same effects.
This code can be added manually to your website if you have access to the HTML code. Under the option ‘allow search engines to show these posts’ in the search results change it from Default to No and this will add the no-index meta tag to the head section. If the no-index tag is added to your web pages then they should disappear from search the next time when the search engine robots visit them. You may have another option for eliminating URLs from Google that which is the URL Removal tool. The name of this Google tool might be slightly misleading as the way it works is that it will temporarily hide the content but Google will still be able to see and crawl this content but the pages would not appear for users. This temporary effect lasts for 6 months in Google so these tools should be used in the most extreme cases for things like security issues, personally identifiable information, data leaks, etc.
To have the pages removed for a longer period or prevent users from accessing the content if they still have the links you need to apply another method along with using their removal tool. This will give you a faster way of hiding the pages while the removal has time to process and it can take up to a day to process the request.