Heads-up website owners! A new tool has arrived to Google Search Console.
If you have a website then you are probably familiar with Google Search Console, an indispensable instrument when it comes to optimising it.
Since Google Search Console received its new look, some of its tools had gone missing, but Google promised to add more of them eventually. And the company kept its promises!
This time Google Search Console got a brand-new URL removal tool.
But you must be wondering, “Why am I interested in removing URLs of my website from Google’s search, when I’ve put so much effort into getting them to appear there in the first place?”
Fair enough. However, there are a few situations that will lead you to want to use it.
The tool has three sections: Temporary Removals, Outdated Content Removals and SafeSearch Filtering. Let’s have a look at each one of them:
1. Temporary Removals. These are familiar for those who used an older version of Search Console. It doesn’t delete URLs from Google’s index, it just lets you temporarily hide them from the search pages for about 6 months.
Imagine you’re having a page rebuilt, so you make it temporarily unavailable on the website. But the page still appears on search. This tool allows you to quickly remove it from the search results.
Or imagine there has been a mistake and Google indexed your staging website and started showing it to people? This tool lets website owners quickly clear the search from all the accidentally indexed pages.
Just keep in mind that this tool does not remove a URL from the index. If this is what you want, you need to use it and then make the page return a 404, or block Google’s crawlers with the help of robots.txt. This way, 6 months later, when Google brings the URL back to its search, its robots will notice that page doesn’t exist anymore, or that it is blocked and will remove it from the index.
2. Outdated Content Removals. Do you know that Google has a public Remove Outdated Content tool? It’s a tool that enables anyone on the Internet to report a search result as outdated content, when they see that the information that appears on said search result cannot be found on the actual page anymore.
The outdated content tool gives you information on all requests concerning your website to update or remove outdated search results during the last 6 months.
3. SafeSearch Filtering. This tool shows you all the pages of your website that were reported as adult content by other users. Before, it was very hard to find any information on whether your content is filtered out as adult or not, but with this brand-new tool you can easily check it and act accordingly.
All in all these new functionalities of Google Search Console are quite exciting. They give website owners not only the possibility of quickly removing from search URLs that are not supposed to appear there, but they also give them a good insight on which pages of the website are blocked because of third-party requests. This means that you have now more info, which makes it easier to plan a course of action should a problem arise.
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