Wednesday, 18 April 2007

Google's New URL Removal Tool

Google has just added some new functionality to its Webmaster Tools at Webmaster Central that allows you to remove certain URLs from Google's search results. Let's take a closer look.

Verified Sites Only
The most important point to note is that you can only remove URLs of sites for which you have verified ownership.

Located Under Diagnostics
The option itself is labeled "URL Removals" and is located under the "Diagnostics" tab.

Four Options
You are given 4 options for URL removal:
  1. Individual URLs - that is, individual web pages, images, etc.
  2. An entire directory (including all contained files and subdirectories)
  3. Your entire site
  4. A cached copy of a Google search result

Effective for 6 Months
Removals are effective for 6 months. You also have the option of undoing the removal. When the six months is up
if the content is still blocked or returns at 404 or 410 status message and we've recrawled the page, it won't be reincluded in our index. However, if the page is available to our crawlers after this six month period, we'll once again include it in our index.
Removal From Search Results
A final important point to note is that this functionality removes the specfied files from Google's search results NOT from Google's index. As mentioned above, removal from the index can only occur once the six-month period is completed.

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Jason said...

Other than some pages that were crawled that shouldn't have been, I'm wondering what the best use of this tool would be?

Walter Kubowski said...

If you had a product with changed specs, pricing, availability you might not want current customers to see the previous results.

If you were selling one of a kind items: houses, cars, etc. Once sold, you might desire contacts or prospects to stop inquiring.

If you recently purchased a domain which had been used by a different company or product. ie:

More insight from your pal,
Walter Kubowski