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Usually, we want to index the page (article) as much as possible in Google. But sometimes we want to delete or Remove URL From Google Search Engine due to some reason. 

For example, confidential information or Private section content that you don’t want to published or share with the audience, Outdated content and delete the 404 error to improve the quality of the website.

google write on tools

google URL removal Tool

I actually don’t know when google officially launches this tool but On December 18, 2013, Google announced the URL Removal Tool for webmaster owner who needed to have content removed from the search engine results. The original tool was a bit confusing for some users, but after a lot of feedback from the community, google make it more feature and easy to use for every webmaster owner.

In the article, we will focus on how we can delete or remove URL from Google Search Engine using “URL removal Tool” feature in the webmaster Tool with the live example, and also try to find the URL using search operator.

What is URL Removal Tool?

It is Tool that helps the website owner to Remove the page or Temporary Hide the Page from the Google search engine result. It also helps you to deleted pages and content that still shows up in Google’s cached results when the live pages are no longer active.

Why I Remove The content

There are  many reasons to delete or remove URL from Google Search Engine some of them are,

  1. The page indexed by Google is deleted or its address (URL) is changed;
  2. The page the return “not found” server status, for Example, 404 error code that means “temporarily unavailable”;
  3. The  Page which returns a 410 error code, which means the URL is permanently removed;
  4. Some information has leaked to the search engine too early — e.g. details about a new service or product;
  5. Information has been updated on the website, but search engine still displays the old version;

Another good reason to use this tool for “Live Page”. For Example, you just change the description of the product or price but on your live page, Google Stil show the old content due to cache. Use this tool to indicate that content has changed. So that you can show your new content or price in the search results.

Note: –  Google URL removal Tool delete only that URL which returns 404, 410 error code.

  • 404 error code means “temporarily unavailable”.
  • 410 error code means, “URL is permanently removed”.

Remove URL From Google Search Engine

You first have to either block the content with robots.txt file or a robots meta tag or you have to remove the content from your website to return a 404 or 410 status code for the URL.

  • Create a Google webmaster account and then go to URL REomoval Tool,
  • Click on Google Index and then Remove URL and enter the URL of the page which is You want to delete from the search engine.
Enter url for removal the page in webmaster tool

Enter URL

  • After Submitting the URL in the Box, you will see 3 option
Types of url Removal

Types of Removal

According to the condition or situation you have to select one of these options, Let me make it clearer;

  1. For, Remove page from search engine (that return 404, 410, outdated content etc)
  2. Remove cache of the page when you make change in the content (google can automatically do this but for fast result, you can use this tool)
  3. Temporarily hide the directory from the google index. For Example like remove any category, Folder etc.

Note: – Google takes 12hr to remove URL from google search engine.

Tips: – Don’t forget that there are other search engines besides Google as well and removing a page from Google search results doesn’t remove indexed information from others. Use another tool to delete URL from another search engine like bing, Yandex etc.

Reindex And Cancel The Removal Request

After Removal request, the site or page removed won’t appear in search results at least for 90 days. After 90 days, if page or site is still accessible then google might index it again. But in case you want your page to show up in search engines before 90 days, by clicking on reinclude on Page Removal List.

Removed page list in webmaster tool

Removed page list

Note: – Removal requests expire after 90 days (If your page return 404, 410 error code then it expires within weak). If the content is still blocked, removed or modified, then it won’t reappear in Google Search Results even after the removal expiration.

Keeping Content Out of Google’s Search Results

  • Use “no follow no index meta tag” to keep content out of search engine.
  • Use Robots.txt file to block google boot to check the page.
  • Not make any link with the page. If you make a link with that page then google can crawl this page through that link.

Tips: – See Matt Cutt videos where he explains all method in detail to keep content out of search Engine. Here is one more series on Content removal by webmaster tool.

Common Mistake

  1. Canonical Use: –  Not use URL removal tool to fix the canonicalization error. For Example, if your site page has more the one place means one content on two websites then use the canonical tag to fix this use.
  2. 301 Redirect: – If you just move your site from one domain to another domain then use 301 redirects to solve this use. There is not need to delete the older domain and index new one, you can save your Page rank by using 301 redirects.

Removing An Entire Directory or Site

In order to delete or remove the directory or website from the search engine, you need to block that particular directory or website by using the robots.txt file. For example, In order to remove the  image folder, i.e http://www.example.com/myimage

robots.txt file are

User-agent:*
Disallow: /myimage/

this will remove all URLs that begin with that path, such as:

http://www.example.com/myimage
http://www.example.com/myimage/page1.html
http://www.example.com/myimage/images/image.jpg

This robot txt file is enough to return 404 error for an image directory. You can check whether a directory has been blocked correctly using either the Fetch as Googlebot features in Webmaster Tools.

Live Example: – Recently, I delete my “Tag” directory from a search engine. Let me show you which step I follow to delete my directory,

 step 1: –  Block the directory using Robots file so that, it return 404 error. See my robots.txt file  in this file I block ” tag” i.e

Disallow: /tag/

Step 2: – Check your file blocked or not, By using Fetch as Googlebot option in google webmaster tool.

Fetch as google Boot option in webmaster tool

Fetch as google Boot

Step 3: –  There are three different tricks to find the URL of the page and  delete or remove URL from google search engine are

  1. Using Search Operator;
  2. Crawl Error or;
  3. by using Remove directory command.

Search Operator: – Use search operator to search the page in the google search result.

using Search Operator in google search box

Search Operator

  • Now you have a list of all page that is in the “Tag” directory.
  • Right click on the name of the page and copy the link address.
Find the URL of the link

Right Click

  • Now go to Google URL removal Tool and submit the URL.

Crawler Error: – Or wait for 12 hr, So that google crawl your site. When google crawl your site, Tag directory return 404 error code due to block by robots.txt file. The Google show “Crawler Error” in webmaster Tool account.

  • Click on Crawl>>Crawl Error in webmaster tool
Crawler Error in webmaster tool

Crawler Error

  • Now, When you click on any tag, a new window will be open and you will see the URL of the page.
Crawler Error in webmaster tool under crawler erroe

Crawler Error

  • Copy the URL of the page and use URL removal to delete or remove URL from google search engine.
  • After submitting the URL click on Mark as fixed option so that you can delete this entry from the list.

Removal Directory Command: – You can use directory removal command to remove URL from google search engine.

  • Go to google URL removal Tool and enter your website name slash directory name slash. For example http://www.hitechwork.com/tag/
Remove Directory in webmaster tool

Remove Directory

  • Now, Hit the submit button and you will see directory removal status.
Status of Directory removal request

Status of Directory

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Conclusion

Use this tool to provide good quality and use the full information to google and as well as for user and delete the unnecessary information from google search engine. I personally recommended using this tool to improve the overall SEO and Quality of the website.

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If you have any suggestion or problem about Remove URL From Google Search Engine please feel free to comment below.

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Harvinder Singh Sharry

owner at Hitechwork
I'm Professional Blogger, SEO, and Digital marketing expert. I started my blog in 2016 with the aim to share my knowledge and experiences for the people associated with my field as well as for the general public.
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