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This user-unfriendly behavior makes no sense as webmasters want visitors to end up on the right page all the time, not have 404 errors waiting for Google to find time to clean up after themselves.
Has anyone found a work around? I'm not going to say screw you to a couple hundred visitors even for a day waiting for Google to do what used to take it less than five seconds.
To remove content from the Google index, do one of the following:
1. Ensure requests for the page return an HTTP status code of either 404 or 410.
2. Block the page using a robots.txt file.
3. Block the page using a meta noindex tag.
If your url returns a 301, then you cannot use #1 or #3 -- but #2 will work.
If you need to expedite your content removal, make sure you have met one of the requirements listed above, and then select the New Removal Request button below to use this automated tool.
Google does not explain this very clearly in the process of clicking through to that page. But in the two recent cases where I used it successfully, the content had to stay available for direct access by a few people -- however, it couldn't be allowed to show in any search results. The GWT url removal process did work, and in under 3 days. After one more crawl - the party was over.
Previously all you had to do to remove a page was take a 301 off for five seconds. Now it is five days, which is absurd if you are redirecting multiple pages via the same htaccess command.
I was wondering this: Currently the site map links to countries and then, on the next level site map, to locations. We're changing the location (city) level pages to point back to the WWW. Should I immediatly remove the links from the site map that points to the 301'd location pages or should I wait for a period of time so that Google crawls the site map to find the 301'd pages then remove links to those pages from the site map?