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How to correctly remove website from google search?

     
4:20 pm on Feb 3, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Hi so Iím taking a sabbatical and want to close my website. I wanted to know how to remove my site urls from google search? Via google search console?
8:52 pm on Feb 4, 2019 (gmt 0)

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You might be able to use an x-robots header append tag in your .htaccess file. Here is a simple example, but you will probably need to modify it by adding new file types, depending on what's on your site.
<Files ~ "\.(html|gif|jp[eg]|png)$"> 
Header append x-robots-tag "noindex"
</Files>

Also be sure to check and test it, since my knowledge in this area is limited.
8:54 pm on Feb 4, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I found this Google Search Console URL is this a right procedure? :

[google.com...]
9:20 pm on Feb 4, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Never really tried to remove a SITE ... so can't speak to that, but I do know that no SE worth its salt ever forgets a URL (or domain) it has met, even those which have been 410'd!
9:58 pm on Feb 4, 2019 (gmt 0)

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12:47 pm on Feb 5, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I'm prompted to scream whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa on this discussion... not as a mod but IMHO as an SEO. The title of this thread and the first question may well be suggesting two different things....

- The first sentences in your opening post (my emphasis added) are....

...Iím taking a sabbatical and want to close my website. I wanted to know how to remove my site urls from google search?

- Taking a subbatical suggests that this could well be temporary, unless, say, you fall in love with a tropical beach (something which almost once happened to me... sigh).

The important question is how permanent or temporary would this be? And what is meant by removing a site from Google search? Would this be just from the serps, or from that hidden database that Google never deletes? If temporary, how long?

Beyond the technical, there's lots of administrative stuff connected with the business aspects. Do you sell your domain (with or without the site), park it publicly or hide it somehow (with or without the site)? What do you want to do with inbound links, and hosting contracts? My gut tells me that there's not really good way to put the site in deep-freeze while you're on your sabbitical. Perhaps set up a deal for someone else to run it while you're away.

The url removal tool, which phranque links to above, only removes desginated pages from Google search results, and only temporarily at that.. X-robots just hides pages and keeps them from getting spidered if they haven't been already... but it doesn't keep them out of the index, and it's intended for temporary use

Note that we have a currently active thread that's about permanently removing pages, which would seem to be the same as this, except that the removal is permanent... there's no sabbatical. That thread is here...

Completely removing site from Google index
https://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4933632.htm [webmasterworld.com]

The circumstances of the threads are different, and you should disregard the sidetrack causes by the Drupal Maintenance Module, which talks about 503s and 200s. I was leading up to getting around this, to get to 404s and 410s, as phranque suggests there.

Perhaps most relevant post in that thread to this one is the JohnMu google product forums thread I post and quoted... which goes through the various choices Google provides. I'm listing those here as well, along with some of JohnMu's commentary. I suggest checking it out in full....

Bulk Content Removal
[productforums.google.com...]

- The URL removal tool is not meant to be used for normal site maintenance like this. This is part of the reason why we have a limit there.
- The URL removal tool does not remove URLs from the index, it removes them from our search results. The difference is subtle, but it's a part of the reason why you don't see those submissions affect the indexed URL count.


And...
...if you have the ability to use a 410 for content that's really removed, that's a good practice.

For large-scale site changes like this, I'd recommend:
- don't use the robots.txt
- use a 301 redirect for content that moved
- use a 410 (or 404 if you need to) for URLs that were removed
- make sure that the crawl rate setting is set to "let Google decide" (automatic), so that you don't limit crawling
- use the URL removal tool only for urgent or highly-visibile issues.


Anyway, again, taking a site down temporarily is something a don't think Google (or the web) was designed to do, but that's a guess. IMO, it would be like taking a house down, removing all the utitilies, etc... and then later deciding you'd like to move in again, so you'd need to rebuild the house, reinstall the utilities, and let everyone know you're back. I don't think that would work.

Better to sublease it for a while if you can find someone you trust.

7:29 pm on Feb 5, 2019 (gmt 0)

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The issues are a few.. firstly I don't want to shut down the site at once so that Google search will give 404 for pages it's indexed and too many 404s might black list my site in Google search?

Secondly my hosting costs are very high and it's a news website.. stale news for months will make my site expensive to even leave on autopilot.
11:39 pm on Feb 5, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Ok Robert and others here I thought again and have decided to keep the current setup I have. I agree rebuilding from scratch again after some months would be a bigger headache. Iíll have to hire a good drupal developer to fix the remaining bugs.. and carry on with the business.
 

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