I run into a lot of people who think that Google runs the web and controls all the sites on it, but that’s really not the case. The sites in Google’s search results are controlled by those sites’ webmasters.
To remove content (including a snippet, title, page content, or an entire URL or site) from search results, the site owner—whether it’s you or somebody else—has a few options. The site owner can remove the concerning information from the page, take the page down from the web entirely, or indicate that Google shouldn’t crawl or index the page. There are varying requirements depending on the type of content you want to remove, and these are described below. Want to remove an image from search results? Check this out first.
After these changes are made and Google has crawled the site again, the content should naturally drop out of the Google index.
However, if you need to urgently remove your site’s content from search results, or if you need to remove Google’s cached copy of a page that has already changed on the website or stop Google from showing results for a page that has been taken down completely, you can use Google’s removal tool to expedite the process.
Important! The URL removal tool is intended for pages that urgently need to be removed—for example, if they contain confidential data that was accidentally exposed. Using the tool for other purposes may cause problems for your site. Read more about when not to use the URL removal tool.
To use the tool, you’ll need to follow certain requirements, detailed below.
If you want to report content that you believe warrants removal from Google’s services based on applicable laws, this tool
will guide you through the process. Completing this form will help ensure that we have all of the information necessary to investigate your specific enquiry and resolve it as quickly as possible.
- If you own the site, you can request removal of the problematic page from Google’s search results using the URL removal tool in Webmaster Tools.
- If you don’t own the site, your first step is to contact the site’s webmaster and request that the content is removed. (Note that depending on the type of removal—see below—some other changes may also be necessary). Once the changes have been made, you can request removal of the content from appearing as a cache copy or snippet in Google’s search results by using the public URL removal tool. (It bears repeating: The site owner—whether it’s you or somebody else—must have first made the required changes to the site, or this process will not work to remove the content from search results.) The site owner will be able to see your removal request in their own Webmaster Tools account.
The URL removal tool is designed for URLs that urgently need to be removed, such as URLs that accidentally expose confidential data. If you recently made changes to your site, Google’s crawlers will see this when recrawling URLs, and any outdated pages will naturally drop out of our search results over time. There’s no need to request an urgent removal.