Removing URLs from Google
At the time of this writing, Google refers to its local business listing platform as “Google My Business.” Google My Business listings include a business’ name, primary url, phone number and physical street address. Your business listing information is available to prospects on a number of different Google platforms, including Google Maps.
Quite often, clients want to know how to set up their Google listing so that it includes all of the main highlights of their business, including photos and reviews. But, just as important, is how to deal with a Google listing when a company is going out of business, re-branding, or changing ownership. What do you do then?
Here are the steps to follow in removing urls from Google:
#1. Make sure that deleting a Google business listing is your most advantageous move.
Once you successfully delete a Google listing it’s a done deal, so first make sure that’s really what you want to do. For example, if someone is buying your business, it’s best to transfer ownership of your Google account rather than remove it. Most people who delete Google listings do so because they are no longer responsible for managing the various business locations within their Google account.
#2. Consider using the Google Search Console.
Within the Google Search Console, it’s an easy process to eliminate a URL from your Google business account. If you’re haven’t used the Console before, you can sign up for free at: www.google.com/webmasters/tools/?hl=en
Once in the Console:
– Choose the website that you want deleted.
– Click on “Optimization” and next choose “Remove URL” in the sub-menu.
– Select “Create a new request for removal” for the page.
– Finally, hit “Continue.”
You can also elect to delete the URL from Bing within the Google Search Console.
However, even though this is the simplest way in removing urls from Google, it may not be the most thorough. You will often have to wait for a while for the deletion to take effect. And, even though the page will be removed from the Google index for 90 days, sometimes the URL can show up again if external links still point to it.
But, if you want the deletion to only be temporary, this is the best way to go.
#3. Your other option is to adjust the robots meta-element with NOINDEX.
To ensure that a URL is permanently removed from the index, you might want to go straight to the source code. Even though this method is a bit more complex, it’s definitely permanent. To do so, add the following code to the source code of the page that you want removed from the Google index: meta name=”robots” content=”noindex”. (This code should be configured like standard html code and inserted in the “head” area of the specific page.)
If the robots meta-element already contains the value “INDEX,” you can just insert “NOINDEX” instead.
This option also deletes the page from Bing automatically at the same time.
A related question involves the clearing of your cache. On their help page, Google specifically states that deleting a URL via the Google Search Console will not change their page caching procedures or their Googlebot’s crawl schedule.
When using the Google Search Console method above, if your page still exists, it’s quite possible that it will be crawled and cached again, and can appear in search results after your temporary 90-day deletion expires. In this case, any page found at the URL you deleted will be considered a new page, and may appear in Google SERPs.