Search Engine OptimizationQuick SEO Tips

How To Remove Pages From Google’s Index

By June 15, 2010 December 3rd, 2012 104 Comments

If you have uncovered pages you need to remove from Google’s index, there is a simple 2 step process that you will need to follow.

Just deleting the page from your website will NOT remove the age from the index. In fact, this can cause worse problems.

Step 1: place the NOINDEX meta tag on each page you want to delete from the index. Place this tag in the header near your other meta tags. If Google crawls your site often, they may pick up the change, but it could take weeks before they actually remove it from all of their servers.

If you need to remove the page immediately, go to step 2.

Step 2: log into your Google Webmaster Tools account. Go to the Crawl menu and select the “remove a page from the index” link. Simply add the page you wish to delete. They will check for the NOINDEX meta tag, so do not do this step until you have completed step 1. This manual process should speed up the process to days instead of weeks.

Simply deleting the page from your website will not solve the problem. Google will still have this page indexed, and if a person finds it in a search and attempts to click on it, they will get a “404 – page not found” error. Not only is this poor usability, but Google will not readily rank sites riddled with lots of 404 errors.

Using robots.txt
You can also tell Google not to crawl or index pages on your site by using your robots.txt file to tell the search engine what to crawl, and what not to crawl. This is especially useful if you have entire directories of pages that you need to handle.

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