Google to remove the non-existent pages from its search results

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  • megri
    Administrator
    • Mar 2004
    • 830

    Google to remove the non-existent pages from its search results

    There are a couple of ways to handle pages showing as "Not Found (404)" in Google Search results, even though they've been gone for a year.

    1. Use Google Search Console to Remove the URLs:
    • This is the best option if you own the website where the pages were originally.
      • Visit Google Search Console [invalid URL removed] and verify ownership of your site if you haven't already.
      • Once verified, navigate to the "URL Removals" tool under the "Removals" section.
      • You can submit requests to remove the URLs from Google's search index. Google will recrawl the pages and usually remove them from the index if they get a 404 response.

    2. Fix the Broken Links:
    • If the pages have simply moved to a new location on your site, you can redirect the old URLs to the new ones. This tells Google and users where to find the current version of the content.
    • There are several ways to implement redirects, depending on your web server software.

    3. No further action:
    • Google will eventually remove these pages from its index on its own, especially if they consistently return 404 errors. It just might take longer than you'd like.

    Here are some additional things to keep in mind:
    • Submit a sitemap: An updated sitemap can help Google discover that the pages are no longer available.
    • Remove backlinks: If there are still external links pointing to the old URLs, it can slow down Google's removal process. Try contacting the website owners and requesting them to remove the links.

    Following these steps, you can encourage Google to remove the non-existent pages from its search results

    Parveen K - Forum Administrator
    SEO India - TalkingCity Forum Rules - Webmaster Forum
    Please Do Not Spam Our Forum
  • megri
    Administrator
    • Mar 2004
    • 830

    #2
    Use a noindex tag:
    • You can add a noindex tag to the header of the pages you want to remove from search results. This tells search engines not to index the page. However, this won't remove the page from Google's index immediately. Google will need to recrawl the page and see the noindex tag before it removes the page from search results.

    Here are some additional tips:
    • Make sure you're submitting the correct URL to Google: Double-check that you're submitting the exact URL that appears in Google Search results, including any variations in casing.
    • Be patient: It can take some time for Google to remove pages from its index.
    Parveen K - Forum Administrator
    SEO India - TalkingCity Forum Rules - Webmaster Forum
    Please Do Not Spam Our Forum

    Comment

    • megri
      Administrator
      • Mar 2004
      • 830

      #3
      Stop Google from Indexing the 404 Pages:

      There are two main methods to prevent Google from indexing these pages:
      • Robots.txt: You can add a disallow directive in your robots.txt file to block Googlebot (Google's web crawler) from crawling these specific URLs. However, this method isn't foolproof as Google might still discover the URLs through other means and try to crawl them.
      • Noindex Tag: Add a noindex meta tag to the header of the 404 error page itself. This instructs search engines not to index the page. This is a more reliable way to prevent indexing.

      2. Fix the Broken Links:

      Instead of blocking the pages, you can try fixing the broken links:
      • Identify the Broken Links: Use website analysis tools or crawl your site yourself to find the broken links.
      • Redirect or Update the Links: If the content has moved to a new location, set up a 301 redirect from the old URL to the new one. If the content is no longer available, remove the link entirely.

      3. Submit a Removal Request (Temporary):

      If you've fixed the broken links and added a noindex tag, Google will eventually remove the pages from its index during its recrawling process. However, you can expedite this process by submitting a temporary removal request through Google Search Console's Removals tool. This is a temporary solution and won't prevent Google from re-indexing the pages in the future.

      Here are some additional tips:
      • Address the Underlying Issue: Identify why these pages are returning a 404 error in the first place. It could be due to broken internal links, deleted content, or website migration issues.
      • Use a Sitemap: A properly updated sitemap can help Google discover the correct structure of your website and avoid indexing non-existent pages.

      By following these steps, you can instruct Google to stop indexing these 404 pages and improve the overall search experience for your users.
      Parveen K - Forum Administrator
      SEO India - TalkingCity Forum Rules - Webmaster Forum
      Please Do Not Spam Our Forum

      Comment

      • Russell
        Senior Member
        • Dec 2012
        • 101

        #4
        To remove non-existent pages from Google’s search results, you can follow these steps:
        1. Use Google Search Console:
          • If you haven’t already, add and verify your site in Google Search Console.
          • Go to the URL Inspection Tool and enter the URL of the non-existent page.
          • Click on Request Removal if the page is indexed but no longer exists.
        2. Create a 404 or 410 Error Page:
          • Ensure that the server returns a proper 404 (Not Found) or 410 (Gone) HTTP status code for the non-existent pages.
          • A 404 indicates that the page is not found and might return in the future, while a 410 indicates that the page is gone permanently.
        3. Remove URLs Tool:
          • In Google Search Console, go to the Removals section under the Index menu.
          • Use the Temporary Removals tool to request removal of URLs from Google’s search results. This will temporarily hide the page for about six months, but if the page returns a 404 or 410 status, Google will eventually drop it from the index permanently.
        4. Sitemap Updates:
          • Update your sitemap to remove references to non-existent pages.
          • Resubmit the sitemap through Google Search Console to help Google identify and crawl the changes faster.
        5. Noindex Tag:
          • If the page still exists but you don’t want it indexed, add a <meta name="robots" content="noindex"> tag to the page. This tells Google not to index the page in future crawls.
        6. Robots.txt File:
          • You can use the robots.txt file to block Googlebot from accessing non-existent pages, but note that this method won’t remove the URLs from the index if they’ve already been indexed.
        7. Monitor and Maintain:
          • Regularly check Google Search Console for crawl errors and address any issues with non-existent pages promptly.
          • Keep your site structure and internal links updated to avoid linking to non-existent pages.

        Implementing these steps will help ensure that Google removes non-existent pages from its search results and maintains an accurate index of your site.

        Comment

        • lisajohn
          Senior Member
          • May 2007
          • 309

          #5
          Google periodically updates its index to remove pages that are no longer available or have been redirected to other pages. This process helps keep search results relevant and accurate. If you have a specific page that you want Google to remove from its search results, you can request removal through Google's Search Console. Here's how you can do it:
          1. Verify Ownership: Make sure you're the owner of the website or have the necessary permissions. You'll need to verify ownership in Google Search Console.
          2. Request Removal:
            • Log in to Google Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster Tools).
            • Go to the "Removals" section.
            • Enter the URL of the page you want to remove.
            • Choose whether you want to temporarily hide the URL from search results (for about six months) or permanently remove it.
          3. Submit Request: After entering the URL and selecting the removal type, submit your request.
          4. Confirmation: Google will review your request. If the request is approved, the URL will be removed from Google's search results.

          It's important to note a few things:
          • Google doesn't immediately remove the page from its index but hides it from search results.
          • If the page returns a 404 (not found) or 410 (gone) status code, Google will eventually drop it from the index.
          • Removal requests do not impact the content of the page itself or how it's indexed by other search engines.

          Comment

          • Mohit Rana
            Senior Member
            • Jan 2024
            • 358

            #6
            Here are the key points about Google removing non-existent pages from its search results:
            • Google announced that it would be taking steps to improve the quality and accuracy of its search results.
            • One of the initiatives was to remove pages from its index that no longer exist or have been taken down by website owners.
            • The goal is to provide users with more reliable and up-to-date information in their search results, rather than returning links to pages that are no longer active.
            • Google said this would involve regularly crawling the web to identify pages that return 404 errors or have otherwise disappeared, and removing those from the index.
            • This change is intended to enhance the user experience by ensuring Google's search results accurately reflect the current state of the web.
            • Website owners are encouraged to properly redirect or remove any pages they take offline to help Google keep its index current.
            • The rollout of this update began in late 2023 and is expected to continue through 2024 as Google works to comprehensively clean up its search index.

            Comment

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