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How to urgently delete (de-index) a page on Google

  • Serial Ululer
  • Pioneer
  • Writer

In one of your articles you made a massive blunder about a minsiter or a celebrity, and you receive an angry phonecall asking you to delete the content immeditately: so how do you?

 To delete the content itself is generally pretty easy: if you use a publication tool, you simply remove the reference in question. For a .html idem site, you can easily edit the page; unless you would prefer to get rid of it entirely.

For sections of complete sites or for types of pages that you hope never to see indexed in Google, you can play with robots.txt. Basically, follow Google’s official procedure to deindex pages in its search engine.

Now for the most crucial scenario: when you urgently need to get rid of a page in Google. The victim’s lawyer is harassing you with screen captures demonstrating that despite the modifications you have made to your own pages, the reference still appears in search engines (in universal research or with Google News).

So there remains just one solution: you have to ask to have the page deindexed in Google Webmaster. If you’re not yet registered to Google Webmaster, let’s say now’s the time (shame that Google gave up the public formula which used to exist a few years ago).  

Once you are on Google Webmaster, click on Crawler Access > Delete URL :

In Google’s next robot-crawl, your page will be definitively deindexed.  

A sole question remains: how long does it take? Alas, there is no definitive answer. If your site is regularly visited by Google, the page could be deindexed the same day. In other cases, it can take longer…

The best solution is thus to document well what you have done: capture against capture! Send captures showing that you have tried really hard to ask for deindexation via Google Webmaster. Of course send them to the incriminated page to show them that it has been deleted or edited. As for the indexing on Google, explain to them that unfortunately it’s no longer in your control and that emails to Google won’t do anything. In other words, show them your good intentions, that’s the best way to sort things out.

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