Have you ever created a hidden product in your e-commerce store? Did you mark it as hidden or just leave it out of your categories? If you marked it as hidden did you do so right away or after some time? Or have you ever had to expire a product from your storefront?
Every so often a page we want hidden will show up in search results. After all, search engines crawl the web and copy the information to make it easy to locate for people using search engines. Sometimes we want pages hidden either for management reasons, or for search engine optimization purposes.
So, what do you do when Google has indexed a page you want hidden?
First you will need to have registered your website with the search engines webmaster tools account.
Once you have added your site to Google’s Webmaster Tools you can then navigate to the section labeled Site Configuration. You should see something like this:
Click on the tab labeled “Remove URL” and the page will display will load a button for you to click to submit your removal request. In the past Google used to require you to have the page blocked either by 301 redirect, 404 error, or by robots.txt. However, Google has since removed this requirement and now will allow you to submit the removal request directly. (Please note that this only works for removing a URL that you control)
Now, once you have made this submission Google will check the page and then begin the process of removing it from their index. However, this will only keep the URL out of index for up to 90 days unless you block Google from reindexing it later on.
To block Google from indexing a URL again you will need to either add it to your Robots.txt file or you will need to add a noindex meta tag to that page. (take care that you do not add a noindex tag to a template file in the event that it may be displayed on every page of your site, this removing you from index completely)
What if we want the URL added back?
Excellent question! Google tracks all of the URL’s you request to be removed from their index. To request Google reinclude your link you just need to click on the link to the right that says “Removed (#)” and it will give you a list of all of the pages that you have submitted requests for.
Next to each request you should see a button that allows you to submit the link to be reincluded.
Feel free to hit us up with any questions you have, if you think you need a lot of help contact our sales department to see what we can work out for you.