Removing Indexed Pages On Google

You should be removing pages indexed on Google searches for various reasons, learn in this guide how to remove them from SERP in a simple way

Updated on November 30, 2022
Removing Indexed Pages On Google

You should be removing pages from the Google searches indexed for various reasons. So how can you remove indexed pages from Google searches?

I used to think that the more pages I had on the Google index, the more traffic I would get. But it’s not true. I realized that when I checked Google-indexed RTB pages for the first time. What I found was embarrassing. Many useless pages got indexed by Google, even though some had no content.

Removing Indexed Pages On Google

Removing Indexed Pages On Google
Removing Indexed Pages On Google

Having these low-quality pages can harm your SEO too. Besides, there is no reason to have these useless pages on the Google index. In this post, I will share how to block URLs from crawling and remove URLs from the Google index.

Before going further, I’d like to share when to remove indexed pages and when not to remove them.

When to Remove Indexed Pages?

There could be a lot of reasons to remove URLs, but here are some of the most common.

  • A page with confidential data got indexed by Google, and you want to get that out of the index.
  • You deleted a post long ago, but it’s still showing in the search results.
  • Your site got hit by Panda for low-quality content.
  • You don’t want some specific pages (like the privacy policy page) to show on search results.
  • Google Webmaster Tools notifies about a page violating Google’s guidelines.

When Not to Remove Indexed Pages?

Though you have the power to remove any URLs from Google Search results, there can be some situations when you shouldn’t. Google provides some guidelines about this. Here are the situations.

  • Google’s crawlers naturally drop outdated URLs from the index. So you don’t need to request an urgent update for those old pages.
  • You don’t need to remove URLs because of crawl errors. They will drop out naturally over time.
  • If you think your site might have a manual action, don’t remove URLs to start with a clean slate. Instead, file a reconsideration request after fixing it up.
  • If your site got hacked and some bad URLs are indexed by Google, don’t block the entire site. Just block those bad URLs. But first, clean up your area and let Google recrawl your site.
  • Don’t use a URL-blocking tool to remove different versions of a page. Instead, use canonicalization of URLs.

How to Check Indexed Pages in Google

Before taking action, you need to know which pages of your site Google has already indexed. To understand this, go to Google. And search for.

You’ll see only pages from your site that Google has indexed. Now you need to determine which URLs you’ll be blocking and proceed with the removing indexed pages process.

Block URLs from Google’s Index

Before removing URLs from the search results, I’d suggest you block the URLs from Google crawling. By blocking the URLs, you can stop Google from indexing the web page for display in search results. Here are 3 ways to control Google crawling.

Nnoindex meta tag: Removing Indexed Pages from Google

You can tell Googlebot not to index a particular page by adding noindex meta tag in the page’s HTML code. When Googlebot finds the index meta tag, it will drop the page from Google search results.

Adding noindex meta tag is pretty simple. Place the following meta tag in your page’s <head> section.

<meta name=”robots” content=”noindex”>

Using WordPress, you can easily do it using the Yoast plugin. Once you’ve installed the Yoast plugin, go to the page on which you want to add a noindex meta tag and edit the page/post. Scroll down to ‘Yoast SEO‘ and click on the ‘Advanced’ tab. Select ‘noindex’ from ‘Meta Robots Index’ and update the post/page. To remove your page faster, use fetch as Google.

Robots.txt for Removing Indexed Pages from Google

Robots.txt file indicates the pages or folders of your site you don’t want to be crawled by Google bots. Adding a file or courier to the “Disallow” list in the Robot.txt won’t remove it from the Google index. But it will help Google bots crawl and index the right content.

If you haven’t configured the Robots.txt file yet, read how to create and configure the Robots.txt file.

Delete & Redirect

If the page is of no value to readers and Google searches engine bots, remove the pages from your site. But you must redirect the deleted page’s URL to an existing one. Whenever a Google bot finds that the page is redirected to a new URL, it will drop the old URL and index the unique URL.

You can use the Redirection plugin to redirect the URL. Once you’ve installed the plugin, go to WordPress Dashboard > Tools > Redirection. Then you’ll get Add new redirection’‘ option to redirect the old URL to the new URL.

Enter the URL you want to redirect to the new URL on the Source URL and enter your destination URL on the Target URL. Then click on the ‘Add Redirection’ button.

Remove URLs On Google Webmaster 

After blocking the URLs, you should wait for a few days to let Google removes the pages automatically. If Google doesn’t remove the URLs after a while, use Google Webmaster Tools.

Now let’s see how to remove URLs by using Google Webmaster Tools. Before going to the tutorial, I’d suggest you use this tool with great care. Only use this tool when you know what you are doing. Doing it incorrectly can take your site out of the Google index.

Here are the steps. First, go to your Webmaster Tools dashboard and select the proper site.

From the left navigation, Click on “Google Index.” You’ll find four options there. Select “Remove URLs” from there. (Follow the image below)

Now click on ‘Temporarily hide’ and enter the URL that you want to hide. Then click on ‘Continue.’

On the next screen, you’ll see your URL and another field named “Request type.” Here you will find three options. Select the first one, “Temporarily hide a page from search results and remove for the cache.” Then Click on “Submit Request.”

Your request to hide the URL has been submitted to Google. You’ll see pending on request Status. When the URL is removed, the status will be changed to ‘Removed.’ You can also Cancel the request by clicking on the ‘Cancel’ button.

Generally, Google does not take much time to process these requests. My one took less than one day. I submitted other URLs along with this, and all URLs were removed within a couple of hours.

Conclusion Removing Indexed Pages from Google

I hope this post helps you understand how to remove indexed pages from Google searches results. If you have any questions about this, feel free to ask us via comment.

Once again, use this tool with great care. It’s always a good idea to let Google removes the pages automatically by blocking URLs. However, if you found this post helpful, help me by sharing this post on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.