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Best/fastest way to remove a website from google's index

11:18 am on Nov 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

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what would be the best & fastest way to remove a website (+/- 50 pages) from googles index? We took the site down but left a blank index page with a no follow, cache & archive tag on it. but it seems to be taking a while for google to completely remove all the pages. wuold it be better using a noindex in the robot.txt file or leave all the pages up (blank of course) with a no index tag on them?
1:18 pm on Nov 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

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The quickest depends on how frequently Google revisits these pages. If you have a fast crawl/indexing cycle then I would return 410 gone for all the pages.

If it's going to be a long time for pages to be respidered then I would exclude in robots.txt and remove the pages using the URL removal tool in Webmaster Tools.

Finally, a blank page is not a good idea IMO - it may be interpreted as a temporary error and cause Google to keep the cached content for even longer.

6:27 pm on Nov 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

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You need a <meta name="robots" content="noindex"> in the <head> of each page if you want to prevent Google from showing it in the SERPs.

Using nofollow is practically worthless as a means of preventing them from indexing the page. All it takes is for one other site to link to the page with a followed link and BAM... it's back in the index.

Using a robots.txt disallow won't prevent Google from showing your page in the SERPs either if enough other sites link to it. While Google won't be able to crawl the page, they can still show a link to the page. Typically, it will appear with only a <title> which they infer from the various link texts pointing to the page and the URL. There won't be a snippet.

Once you have the <meta name="robots" content="noindex"> in place for each of the URLs then you can sign into Google's Webmaster Tools and request a URL removal. I think it generally takes a couple of business days. If it is an absolute emergency, you can request an emergency URL removal. You can request individual pages, folders, or the complete site (not applicable).

Just Google "google url removal request", "google immediate url removal request", "google emergency url removal request", etc.

9:02 pm on Nov 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Administrator anallawalla is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

joined:Mar 3, 2003
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By using a combination of robots.txt and WMT URL removal, Google removed over 2 million URLs within 3-4 hours (I wasn't checking every minute, but it could have been quicker). Quite impressive.
8:05 pm on Nov 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

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This video from Matt Cutts may help you, too.

How can I remove old content from Google's index?:


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