Thursday, June 2, 2011

Google Webmaster Tools Simplifies URL Removals from Google Index

Google’s Webmaster Central team has recently announced an update to the Remove URL tool.

Changes to the Remove URL tool in Webmaster Tools have been recently made by Google to make it easier for site owners to remove incorrect or private URLs from the Google index.

This is good news to search engine optimization experts for before, a site owner is first required to block the webpage's URL before the page can be removed from Google's search results.

Now, Google has made it easier for site owners to remove unwanted pages from Google's search results. All the site owners have to do is send a request to remove a page’s URL.

Temporary URL Removal

When a request for removal of a page’s URL is received, Google will consider that request "temporary" and will persists for at least 90 days. This means that though Google will not display the URL in its search results, it will still continue to crawl the URL during the 90-day period, giving the chance to site owners to cancel their remove URL request at any time within the 90 days period.
After the 90-day period, and if the site owner didn’t make any other changes that could impact the page’s availability, Google will post back the page to their search results.

Permanent URL Removal

To permanently remove a URL from Google's search results, a page blocking method must be implemented continually such as  noindex meta tag, robots.txt file, or a 404 (Not Found) or 410 (Permanently Removed) HTTP status code. This page blocking codes will ensure that Google will permanently remove the blocked page from its search results for as long as the page is blocked.

If at any time in the future, the page blocking method that the site owner previously used is removed, Google will possibly re-crawl and index the page.
Google recommends to site owners to use the Remove URL tool to send the page removal request and then permanently block the page’s URL before the 90-day expiration of the removal request so that Google will immediately and permanently remove the blocked page.

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