How to Remove Indexed Pages from Google Search Results

Table of Contents

What does it mean to de index a page

Indexing and crawling explained

Search engine optimization entails following a path on a website.

In web crawling, your links are followed by a site crawler, which climbs everywhere on your site. 

Validation can be carried out by crawlers by checking HTML code or hyperlinks. In addition, data can be extracted from specific sites, a process known as web scraping.

Your website’s bots crawl around other pages linked to your site when they come to check out your website.

This information is used by the bots to present searchers with accurate information about your web pages. Ranking algorithms are also created using this information.

Sitemaps are important for this reason. Google’s bots are able to access all of your site’s links using your sitemap.

A website is indexed when it appears in a database that is indexed by all pages that can be searched on Google.

A web page can be crawled and indexed by Google if it is indexed. Google cannot index a page once it has been deindexed.

WordPress posts and pages are automatically indexed by default.

Pages with related content indexed are good for your Google ranking, which can enable you to increase your click-through rate, leading to increased revenue and brand awareness.

Nevertheless, if you allow sections of your blog not relevant to your site to be indexed, you may do more damage to your site.

Page types that should be noindex

You probably have 90% of the same content on your author pages as on your blog homepage if you are the only one writing for it. Duplicate content is not helpful to Google. It is possible to disable the author archive entirely to prevent this kind of duplicate content. 

Types of posts (custom)

Plugins and web developers may add extra content types not meant for indexing. 

As your website isn’t a typical online store selling physical products, you can use custom pages to showcase our products. The description of the product does not have to contain a product image, and filters related to the product do not need to be on a tab. 

In addition, we’ve seen eCommerce solutions that use custom post types for specifications such as dimensions and weight. This type of content is considered low quality. 

We need to keep these pages out of the search results pages as well since they serve no purpose for visitors or Google.

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Pages dedicated to “thank yous”

That page only exists to express gratitude to customers, newsletter subscribers, and first-time commenters. There is little content on these pages, which have upsells and social sharing options, but which are useless for someone looking for relevant information on Google. The results should not include such pages.

Login and administration pages

Google should not list most login pages. However, it does. Add a no-index to yours so it isn’t included in the index. A notable exception could be login pages for community-based services, for instance Dropbox or maybe a similar service.  

Just think if you were not working for your company if you were to google one of your login pages. If not, it’s safe to assume they don’t need to be indexed by Google. Fortunately, WordPress no-indexes your login page automatically if you run the CMS.

Results of internal searches

Google would likely not want its visitors to see internal search results. The easiest way to ruin a search experience, is by linking to another search engine, rather than showing actual results. But results pages still have value, and Google should pay attention to them.

Google deindexes sites that follow the following 20 practices

Your website can be removed from Google search results by certain SEO techniques. Here are the 20 SEO tactics you should avoid in order to rank higher on the SERPs:

1. Use of Robots.txt to block crawlers

Having a robots.txt file prevents Google from crawling your URL and therefore you have to remove it yourself.

Robots.txt prevents crawling and displaying this page.

In the error message, “This page cannot be crawled nor shown due to robots.txt” indicates that the page cannot be crawled or displayed.

If you would like the page to be indexed by Google, make sure your robots.txt file is updated to specify the indexing.

For this purpose, open your website’s robots.txt file:

xyz.com/robots.txt.

To ensure your robots.txt is readable, ensure that the following lines are included:

Search engine: Googlebot

Disallow:

Instead of:

Search engine: Googlebot

Disallow: /

2. Spam pages

Did you know that Google finds over 25 billion spammy pages every day?

Different websites use a variety of spam mechanisms. 

If your website generates anomalous pages intentionally or leaves your comment section unprotected against user-generated spam, you risk removing your URL from Google search results.

3. Overuse of keywords

The practice of stuffing keywords into a content piece with an excessive amount of irrelevant and unnecessary information is known as keyword stuffing.

You risk getting your website removed from Google’s search results if you stuff your website with keywords.

Keywords should be naturally included throughout the page, metadata, post title, introduction, subtitles, closing, and sparingly throughout the body.

Overall, each keyword placement should have a relevant context.

4. Content duplication

No duplicate content is tolerated by Google, regardless of whether you copy the content of other websites or repurpose your own content.

Search engine results for plagiarism are removed by Google.

Instead, ensure that your content is relevant and unique in order to meet search engine requirements.

You can use the noindex tag and the nofollow HTML meta tag on your website if you want to include duplicate content.

5. Content generated automatically

The owners of many websites run their companies as their Chief Everything Officers, and have no time or resources to create content for them.

As a quick solution, article spinners may seem appealing. However, spinning your articles may cause you to be penalized by search engines.

Content that is automatically generated is removed by Google for the following reasons:

  • Emphasizes the use of synonyms instead of keywords.
  • Does not add much value to readers.
  • Lacks context and contains errors.

6. Fraudulent Practices

Google prohibits cloaking. You will be banned from their search engine if you do it.

Cloaking relies on the user agent to determine how and what content to deliver.

Search engines like Google and Bing, on the other hand, see search optimized content while visitors see images.

7. Deceptive Redirects

Taking a sneaky redirection into account will result in Google penalizing you if the content you display to humans differs from the content you forward to search engines – something akin to cloaking.

In the case of manipulative redirects, you may be removed from Google.

The following are examples of redirects you can use:

  • Added a new URL to the website.
  • This URL contains pages that have been merged.

8. Installation of Malware and Phishing

No cybercrime is permitted on Google, including phishing or installing malware.

Your website will be removed from Google if it contains pages that:

  • Access sensitive information about users without their consent.
  • The system functions of the user are hijacked.
  • Data that has been corrupted or deleted.
  • Observe how users use their computers.

9. Spam created by users

User accounts and comments are often created using plugins and tools on platforms where users can access the tools and plugins.

This spam commonly takes the form of blog comments and forum postings – when bots spam forums with links to malicious software.

10. Schemes for linking

A link scheme is a method for increasing search rankings by exchanging links with other websites to gain backlinks.

A variety of link-building techniques, including, private blog networks, link farms, and link directories are not allowed by Google.

The following are not acceptable to Google:

  • Search engine results are manipulated by paid links.
  • Directory sites with low-quality links.
  • The footers include invisible links.
  • Keyword-stuffed signatures and comments in forums.

11. Lack of quality content

You may suffer a Google search penalty much faster than you expect if you create low-quality content.

If you want to rank higher for keywords or maintain consistency, avoid posting irrelevant, meaningless, or plagiarized content. Invest time in writing interesting and original posts that can be helpful to your readers.

12. Links with hidden text

Don’t use hidden links or hidden text. Your URL could be removed from Google if it violates Google’s rules.

The following types of content are removed by Google:

  • Reading seems impossible.
  • A photo allows you to hide.
  • The color of the background of the website should match.

13. Pages for doorways

Doorways, sometimes referred to as bridge pages or portals, lead to websites with high search engine rankings but always take you to the same page after clicking.

Using doorway pages to trick users into clicking on one page while presenting varying search results is punishable by Google because the sole purpose is to get huge traffic to a website.

14. Content scraped from other websites

Content is often copied and pasted from one website to another without modification. The content is only modified if synonyms are used instead of words.

Scraped content may seem to be curated, but Google’s Webmaster Guidelines show scraped content violates their guidelines and, therefore, can result in your website being removed from search results since scraped content does not meet the following criteria:

  • Is not original.
  • Copyright infringement occurs as a result.

15. Affiliate programs with little value

While posting the descriptions of products that you find on other platforms on your WordPress website, you might be running affiliate programs. If you engage in this type of behavior, Google may remove your URL from its search results because it considers it a poor content marketing effort.

Since thin affiliate pages have low-quality content, Google usually removes them from the SERPs.

16. Unsatisfactory guest posts

When done properly, guest blogging is a great SEO habit.

In contrast, if you do not enforce strict rules about guest posting, including publishing low-quality contributions that point to spam blogs, you may see Google deindexing and removing your domain from searches.

17. Structured Data Markups Are Spam

Guidelines for structured data on Google recommend avoiding false or spammy metadata in order to avoid penalties.

Google uses data markup to determine rich snippets and search results. When Google finds misleading, dangerous, or manipulative content on your website, it may remove it from the index.

18. Queries that are automatically generated

You might be penalized if you send Google automated queries from your website.

Avoid requesting ranking information from Google via bots or automated services. The URL might be deindexed and removed from Google search if it violates Webmaster Guidelines.

19. Not including web pages in your sitemap

The sitemaps of search engines attract search engine bots like a magnet.

Google is able to analyze your website easily by looking at:

  • The importance of pages is summarized.
  • Providing information about images, videos, and news.
  • Creating a network of links between your content.

By excluding the pages you do not want Google to index from the sitemap, you can remove URLs from Google search results. If you don’t want Google to find and index the page, you should still block it through robots.txt.

In addition, you can view the performance of your sitemap in your Google Search Console account.

20. Unauthorized Content

Cybersecurity concerns arise from hacked content. Content that is added to your site unauthorized – by exploiting security flaws – in order to harm your users.

The removal of your website from Google search results can also be attributed to hacked content. To make use of its search results safely, Google removes such content.

Indexing Tags

A page can be indexed or not indexed based on its index and noindex meta tags. The crawler indexes websites in order to determine what they are about and organize the content on them. It makes no difference whether or not other websites link to a page if a crawler fails to index it.

A meta tag is a part of the HTML code and is used for indexing and reindexing.

Meta tags for indexing and no-indexing

Considering that noindex tags can prevent your website from showing up in search engine results, it is important to know when and how you should use them. It would be disastrous if you accidentally tagged your homepage with noindex!

Noindex tags are for pages that you would like only to be seen if you mentioned them directly to someone. Examples include:

  • You have created a promotion page if you are sending your customers an email with a special promotion linked to it.
  • Your employees: if you want them to have access to certain sections of your site only if another employee tells them about it.

Tags for Noindexing and Inclusion in Search Engines

By default, crawlers will index your site by default, so it isn’t recommended to use an index tag. That would simply be excessive coding.

Make sure there is no Robots.txt file blocking your website before adding a noindex tag. A Robots.txt file that blocks the noindex tag will ensure that the noindex tag is not seen by the crawler, so it may still appear in the SERPs.

Pages that you do not wish to be indexed can be marked with the rel=”noindex” tag.

The meta name will be “robots” and the content will be “noindex”.

Remember that a noindex tag does not prevent search engines from crawling the pages linked on it. The noindex tag must be used together with a nofollow tag if you want crawlers not to index and follow your page. 

The coding will look like this: Meta name=”robot” content=”noindex, nofollow”>

Conclusion

It is ultimately better to prevent indexation damage from occurring in the first place rather than trying to fix it later. The long memory of Google makes it difficult for it to forget about pages once they have been crawled. As a result, website developers usually have a lot of stakeholders, and things can go wrong. 

Fortunately, there is always the option of fixing any potential damage. In order to make the web a better place, search engines should be proactively pointed in the right direction since they want to understand your website.

About the Author

My name’s Semil Shah, and I pride myself on being the last digital marketer that you’ll ever need. Having worked internationally across agile and disruptive teams from San Fransico to London, I can help you take what you are doing in digital to a whole next level.

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