November 29, 2011

How you can Permanently Remove your Web Page from the Google Search Index

As a website owner, there will come a time when you realize that a page that you have posted contains content that may get you into trouble. Don't panic and calm down. There is a procedure by which you can request Google to remove the page from its search engine index.

First of all, see if you can still save the page by checking if you can still edit the page by removing the offending objects therein and continue having that page on your web server. Maybe you can just remove a few paragraphs or sentences or edit them to make them less controversial. Or, check if you can replace an offending image with a safe one. If you can do this, then your issue has been successfully resolved.

If you really want to remove the whole page, then the first thing to do is save the url of the page in a notepad file so that you can refer to it later. Then delete the web page from your server. Go to your browser and paste the url in its address bar and press the enter key on your keyboard. The browser should give a 404 message meaning the page could not be found on the server.

However, things can get a little tricky. When you search your page on the Google search page, the link may still appear on the search results page and when you click the link, the page may still display on your browser. What is happening here? You already have removed the page from your server and the page is still appearing on your browser.

People generally believe that search engines maintain only the links information of your page but not the page itself. This belief is inaccurate. Search engines also stores a copy of your web page on its servers aside from keeping the links information of your page. They do this to facilitate the display of the page on your web browser. You can access the latest version of the page if you click on the refresh button of your browser.

When the search engine fetch the page from your server and could not find it, the search engine will generally flag the web page as missing and move to remove the page from its index. But this could take some time to accomplish depending on the workload of the search engine. However, you can request the search engine to remove the page immediately from its index.

If you want to remove links to your web page in the Google search engine, you need to use the Google Webmaster Tools. You need to have a Google email address and password for you to be able to login to the Webmaster Tools website. When using the Google Webmaster Tools, be sure that you enter the complete url of the web page that you want remove from the Google search engine. You might inadvertently remove the home page of your website if you're not careful.

To use the Google Webmaster Tools, you need to include your website in your Webmaster account. You can check the Webmaster Tools help information on how to do this. It would take some time before your website can be included in your account so you have to check every now and then if your website is already active on the Webmaster Tools. In the Webmaster Tools page, make sure that you are in the dashboard page of your website. On the left side of the page, click on Site configuration and then click on Crawler access. In the Crawler access page, click on the Remove url button and then click on the New removal request button.

Enter the complete url of the web page that you want removed from the Google search engine and then click on the Continue button. If your web page is still appearing on search results page and is still being displayed on the web browser, choose on the option Remove page from search results and cache. If your web page is still appearing on the web browser when you enter its url on your browser's address bar but no longer appearing on the search page results, then click the option to Remove page from cache only. Click on the Submit request button and you would be notified of your submission. You can then monitor the status of your request on the same page of in the Webmaster Tools. It would take some time for the cache image of your page to be removed so check once in a while to make sure that your page has already been deleted.

Google would generally accede to your request for removal since you own the website where the page is located. If your request is denied, it could be that the page you requested for removal does not belong to you. There is a separate procedure if you want to remove any derogatory information about you that appear on websites that are not yours. This procedure is more problematic since you don't own the website where the offensive information is found. You need to contact the website owner or the administrator of the web server where the information in question is stored.

Read an article on how to properly delete a page from your personal website at: http://publishtoweb.blogspot.com/2010/01/how-to-properly-delete-page-from-your.html.