Do you get annoyed during Google searches when you click on a link—only to find the website doesn’t exist anymore? Imagine that that’s your website, and you’re losing web traffic as a result. Bummer, right? Fortunately, it’s fixable. This article informs you about the process of requesting removal of an outdated link from Google’s search results. Read on and learn how to use the URL removal tool on Google. If the site is your own (see next paragraph for more information), you can actually remove the link and also add the link back to the search results if you discover you’ve made a mistake in removing it. The problem is an easy one to correct, and it doesn’t take very long. Keep in mind, however, that the URL removal tool is best used sparingly. Google suggests only using it if removal is absolutely necessary or if your website was hacked. Use this procedure wisely and selectively.
If you’re checking the URLs of your own website or want to submit some of your webpages to XML sitemap, go to site:www.[websiteURL].com to see how your site shows up in Google SERP. Chances are, if you’ve had a website for a while, you’ve deleted many URLs and links as your site has evolved through the years. When deleted links appear in SERP, they show up as 404 error pages. If these are your deleted links, then people are seeing a 404-error page instead of your site, which really curbs web traffic. The way you avoid this is by removing the link from Google SERP, which the following 7 steps tell you how to do. If you have a website, it is a good idea to check that website out on SERP. If you have any deleted links showing up on SERP, continue reading.
1: Find An Outdated Link (S) To Remove
Everything starts with an idea, so get an idea about which link (or links) to remove. If there are multiple links, choose one to begin with and move through the steps, taking each of them in turn. Again, if you’ve had a website for a long time, you probably have at least several outdated links. Check out your website on Google SERP and see if you ever run into a 404 error page. If you don’t, congratulations—you don’t need to do anything else. If you do find an outdated link, you’re ready to move on to step number 2.
2. Make A Removal Request
Sign into your Google account if you haven’t already. (If you don’t have one, make one so you’ll be able to use this service.) Then visit this page and type in the URL of the outdated link you want to remove. Make sure you get it exactly right, otherwise the request is useless. Note that the URL field is case sensitive, so you have to make sure every lowercase letter and/or every capital letter in the URL you provide is accurate. Double and triple checking never hurt. Once you’re ready to go on, hit Continue to allow the request to process. The Webmaster will look for the cached version of the page and check whether or not the page is live.
3. Remove Cached Version
After the URL removal tool is finished analyzing, it’ll show you a button at the bottom that says, “Remove cached version of this page.” Before you press it, take note that you can also remove keywords from the cached version of the page. If you do want to remove keywords, type them in the white box before clicking on the button. To find any keywords you want to get rid of, press CRTL+F or COMMAND+F. This should take you to step number 4.
4. Provide Reason For Removal
The URL will be displayed at the top of the page, followed by a drop-down box and then a box to type in below it. You’ll have to fill out these fields, even if you’re just removing keywords and not a whole page. You’ll want to make sure that the drop down menu has “The page has changed and Google’s cached version is out of date,” inside it. If you’ve removed keywords, you have to retype each of them in the type box below the drop-down menu. Once you’ve filled everything out, click on “Remove cached version of this page” again.
5. Remove The Page/URL.
If you’re bent on getting rid of the entire link or URL, pay close attention to this step. Make sure the drop down menu reads, “Page has been removed or blocked from search engines” and then click “Remove this page.” After clicking this, your request for URL removal will be sent to the Webmaster. When it is approved, the URL will be removed. If you are satisfied with this result, you don’t need to do anything else. If you want to see all your removal requests or add back a URL that was mistakenly removed, continue to steps 6 and 7.
6. Display All Of Your Removal Requests.
If you’ve removed more than one URL at this point, then you will be able to see each URL you have removed. Find “Show” to display them all. URLs will be categorized as Pending, Denied, Removed, Made by others, and All. All you have to do is click on the category, and the URLs under it (if there are any) appear.
7. Reinclude A Deleted URL.
Did you make and error and delete something you didn’t need to delete? No problem! It’s very easy to fix. Find the URL by selecting whatever category it’s under (see previous step for this), or select All and pick your URL from there. The link will be on the left, and the Reinclude option for that link will be on the right. Click on Reinclude to put the link back in Google search results, and all is well again.
Thank you for reading this article! If you run into problems or have questions, please leave a comment below.