Remove URLs Tool

Temporarily block search results from sites that you own

The Remove URLs tool enables you to temporarily block pages from Google Search results on sites that you own. For sites that you don't own, see here.

Very important notes:

  • A successful request lasts only about 90 days. After that, your information can appear on Google search results (see Making removal permanent).
  • Clearing the cache or hiding a URL does not change Googlebot's crawl schedule or page caching behavior. When you request a temporary block of a URL, Google will still continue to crawl your URL, if it exists and isn't blocked by another method (such as a noindex tag). Because of this, it is possible that your page can be crawled and cached again before you remove or password-protect your page, and can appear in search results after your temporary blackout expires.
  • If your URL becomes unreachable by Googlebot, it will assume that the page is gone and your block request will be ended. Any page found at that URL later will be considered a new page that can appear in Google Search results.

To temporarily block a URL from Google Search:

  1. The URL must be in a Search Console property that you own. If it's not, follow these instructions instead.
  2. Open the Remove URLs tool.
  3. Click Temporarily hide.
  4. Enter the relative path of the desired image, page, or directory. The following rules apply:
    • The URL is case-sensitive. This means that example.com/MyPage is not the same as example.com/mypage
    • The path is relative to your Search Console property root.
    • All variations of http and https, www and non-www will match. So if you specify example.com/mypage
      • https://example.com/mypage matches
      • http://example.com/mypage matches
      • https://www.example.com/mypage matches
      • http://www.example.com/mypage matches
      • http://m.example.com/mypage does not match. Other subdomains (such as m. or amp.) do not match.
    • To hide an entire site, leave the path empty, and in the next step choose Clear cache and temporarily hide all URLs beginning with....
  5. Click Continue.
  6. Choose one of the following actions:
    • Clear URL from cache only

      Clears the cached page and snippet from the Google index, but does not remove the page from Search results. Google will refresh the page cache and snippet the next time the page is crawled.

      Notes:

      • The URL must match exactly, including the page extension (for example, .html). Therefore, if you specify path/mypage, then the following URLs will NOT be matched:
        • path/MyPage, path/mypage?1234
        • path/mypage.html
      • Anchors are never matched and should be omitted from your URL (mypage#anchor).
      • Use the URL exactly as it appears in Google Search results.
    • Clear URL from cache and temporarily remove from Search

      Hides the page from Google Search results for about 90 days, and also clears the cached copy of the page and snippet from the Google index. The page can reappear in Search results after the blackout period.

      Notes:

      • The URL must match exactly, including the page extension (for example, .html). Therefore, if you specify path/mypage, then the following URLs will NOT be matched:
        • path/MyPage, path/mypage?1234
        • path/mypage.html
      • Anchors are never matched and should be omitted from your URL (mypage#anchor).
      • Google will recrawl the page during the blackout period and refresh the page cache and snippet, but will not show them until the blackout period expires, unless you make removal permanent.
      • Use the URL exactly as it appears in Google Search results.
    • Clear cache and temporarily hide all URLs beginning with...

      Hides all URLs beginning with the specified prefix, and also clears the cached copies of the pages and snippets.

      For example, if your property is example.com, and you specify "foods/", then all of the following URLs will match:

      • http://example.com/foods/pizza
      • https://www.example.com/foods/bread?type=whole_wheat
      • http://www.example.com/foods/pasta/spaghetti/bologonese.html

      Notes:

      • URLs are hidden for about 90 days and the cached page and snippets are cleared.
      • Matching results can reappear in search results after the blackout period. Google will recrawl the page during the blackout period and refresh the page cache and snippet, but will not show them until the blackout period expires, unless you make removal permanent.
  7. Click Submit Request. The request can take up to a day to process, but is not guaranteed to be accepted. Check back to see the status of the request. If your request has been denied, click Learn more to learn why.
  8. Submit additional removal requests for any pseudonym URLs for that page, as well as any variations in URL casing that your server handles. For example, all the following URLs might point to the same page:
    • example.com/mypage
    • example.com/MyPage
    • example.com/page?1234
  9. To make URL removal permanent, read the next section.

Make removal permanent

The Remove URLs tool provides only a temporary removal. To remove content or a URL from Google search permanently you must take one or more of the following additional actions:

  • Remove or update the actual content from your site (images, pages, directories) and make sure that your web server returns either a 404 (Not Found) or 410 (Gone) HTTP status code. Non-HTML files (like PDFs) should be completely removed from your server. (Learn more about HTTP status codes)
  • Block access to the content, for example by requiring a password.
  • Indicate that the page should not be indexed using the noindex meta tag. This is less secure than the other methods.

Canceling a Remove URL request

If you need to cancel your 90-day block from search results, you can visit the status page of the tool and click Reinclude next to a successful request. Requests take a few days to be process.

Misusing the Remove URLs tool

The URL removal tool is intended as a first step for content that you urgently need blocked—for example, if it contains confidential data that was accidentally exposed. Using the tool for other purposes might cause problems for your site.

  • Do not use the tool to clean up cruft, like old pages that 404. If you recently changed your site and now have some outdated URLs in the index, Google's crawlers will see this as we recrawl your URLs, and those pages will naturally drop out of our search results. There's no need to request an urgent update.
  • Do not use the tool to address crawl errors from your Search Console account. The blocking tool blocks URLs from Google's search results, not from your Search Console account. You don’t need to manually remove URLs from this report; they will drop out naturally over time.
  • Do not use the tool to "start from scratch" with your site. If you're worried that your site might have a manual action, or you want to start with a clean slate after purchasing a domain from someone else, we recommend filing a reconsideration request letting us know what you're worried about and what has changed.
  • Do not use the tool to take your site "offline" after being hacked. If your site was hacked and you want to get rid of bad URLs that got indexed, use the URL blocking tool to block any new URLs that the hacker created—for example, http://www.example.com/buy-cheap-cialis-skq3w598.html. But we don't recommend blocking your entire site, or blocking URLs that you'll eventually want indexed. Instead, clean up the hacking and let us recrawl your site. More information about dealing with a hacked site.
  • Do not use the tool to get the right "version" of your site indexed. Many sites make the same HTML content or files available via different URLs. If you do this, and don’t want duplicates to appear in search results, review our recommended methods of canonicalization. Don’t use the URL tool to block the URLs you don’t want in search results. It won't keep your favorite version of a page; instead, could remove all versions (http/https and www/non-www) of a URL.
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