How to remove data from Google’s cache

googleblogsearch.gifHelp! I have deleted a page, post, image or blog but it still appears in Google blog searches.

How can I get Google to remove my deleted file (page or image) from their cache?

The URL Removal Tool
If you have deleted a web page or an image and it has been removed from the server and, the URL returns a 404 page not found error, then you can request Google to remove the page from their indexed cache. Remember the URL of the page to be removed must return a 404 error otherwise this tool will not work.

Use the URL removal tool to request that information be removed from Google Web Search and Image Search results. You can use this tool to request the following types of removals:

  • Remove outdated or missing webpages.
  • Remove information or images.
  • Report inappropriate content appearing in SafeSearch filtered results.

Google will investigate and provide an update on the status of your request as soon as possible. Removals that are processed through this tool are excluded from Google search results for six months.

Important note: 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. When NOT to use the URL removal tool

Blogging tips

  1. 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.
  2. Locate the URL of the page you’d be like to be removed from Google’s search results.
  3. Verify that the URL returns a 404 – not found error message.
  4. If you don’t already have one, then set up a Google account and a Webmaster Tools account.
  5. Sign into your Google account and go to this URL and follow the instructions – Removing my own content from Google. See also How do I use the webpage removal request tool?

Related posts:
Matt Cutt’s Whitehat SEO Tips for Bloggers: WordCamp 2007
How to structure a reader and search engine friendly blog
WordPress: How to Maintain and Track Links
Improving your Google Page Rank
Technorati: The Six Month Link Window
How to: Google site verification
Promote Your Blog: Increase Traffic
WordPress.com Beginner’s Guide

26 thoughts on “How to remove data from Google’s cache

  1. Thanks for the Post, I have used Webmaster URL removal tool 2 weeks before but still my site old links are in google search index and cache but removed :( should i need to wait more than 2 weeks ?

    Please tell me. Thanks

  2. Pingback: “Me on the Web” for reputation management « one cool site

  3. I am being harassed by online stalker who is defaming me by creating multiple blogs. All his blogs have been removed by webmaster of respective sites but he, being a coder/programmer , is making the cache pages/snippets appear as number 1 on google search, for all his removed blogs (and he is creating new blogs left n right everyday–he must have created 20 blogs till date !)…my question is how do I remove the cache pages n snippets of removed blogs from appearing on google search? On Google webmaster, when i submit cache removal request, I think it goes to the crazy man who created these n he denies it….and if everyday new stuff keeps coming up as cache content/snippets on first page of google search, how do i remove them.
    I have tried Google URL removal tool, n even though, the respective url gets removed through Google webmaster, i don’t see its cache contents/snippets disappearing from Google search…n some sites don’t return 404 error when defamatory blog content is removed, so in that case,will its cache/snippets keep appearing on Google search.

    • When it comes to coping with a troll harassing you online I cannot be of much help. The remedies for being defamed online are the same as they are ofofline ie. legal suit. If you are referring to a free blog being free hosted by WordPress.com then see here. Disputes: Defamation, Court Orders, Subpoenas, Privacy > http://en.support.wordpress.com/disputes/
      See also:
      http://en.wordpress.com/freedom-of-speech/
      http://en.wordpress.com/abuse/
      http://en.wordpress.com/complaints/

      If and only if you are referring to a person with free blogs being free hosted by WordPress.com and you are experiencing a person who is an SEO game player then please then see this entry because WordPress.com has no tolerance for SEO game players and will suspend their blogs. Check the page on types of blogs for more information about what content is and isn’t welcome on WordPress.com.

      Blogs that violate our advertising policy or fall into one of the following categories are not allowed on WordPress.com:
      SEO blogs: Blogs that are written for search engines instead of humans. These blogs are dedicated to trying to fool Google and other search engines into ranking them or the sites they link to highly. WordPress.com is not meant for this type of activity.

      Contact link for Staff > http://en.support.wordpress.com/contact/

      This post contains a video that may be helpful > Basic Netiquette for Beginner Bloggers > http://onecoolsitebloggingtips.com/2010/03/16/basic-netiquette-for-beginner-bloggers/

      Google clears their caches about every 3 – 6 months. It’s strictly up to Google staff whether or not they will allow an early removal from their cache of pages that “404” (page not found) by use of the URL removal tool.

      Why does Google return a certain result for my blog/post?
      Please contact Google. We have no control over the search results, nor special knowledge about how they are selected. http://en.support.wordpress.com/search-engines/

      Note tha what I have posted above applies to free blogs being free hosted by WordPress.COM and not WordPress.ORG sogtware installs. Many confuse the two: WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org: The Differences > http://support.wordpress.com/com-vs-org/

  4. Hi Time thief,

    Hope you can still help on this. I’m just experimenting with doing this. I’ve deleted pages and content but when logged out there is still some kind of front page with guff rather than a 404 not found message. So question one is just to clarify again how best to create a 404 or 410 return for a wordpress.com page?

    Second question is whether you have to submit every wordpress.com page url of the blog you want removed from appearing in search results to google url removal.

    Many thanks

  5. OK

    I did find Webmaster removal tool home page and Dashboard.
    Did get my blog-site VERIFIED. Then followed Webmaster removal tool ” If you own site ”
    steps one by one. Still never got 404, they said make sure blog URL has been blocked as in DELETED. Which was already done a week ago. Unless this isn’t getting it blocked???

    Hell what does? It’s deleted???

    Then made a NEW removal Request as they said to do and AGAIN it was DENIED.
    They stated use URL as the blog was??? Now this didn’t make sense since IT WAS DELETED. There is no URL of it anymore. So I used one that comes up on google search. They said don’t use CACHE one and I didn’t. I clicked onto the link that goes to the page that say’s Sorry, the page you are looking for does not exist. Right clicked top URL link as they said to do.

    All this and 7 requests 7 Denied. Their directions and no results.

    Infuriating. And still don’t know how to bring up 404 error-not found message. Only Sorry, the page you are looking for does not exist message comes up on deleted page.

    The people that want this removed are not worth this aggravation. And Google as far as I’m concerned are jokes.

    • That’s a frustrating tale, for sure. I’m so sorry you went through this. As you have have been to both Staff and to Google (7 times!) there’s no further help I can give you. You have done all you can do and have reached a dead end.

  6. how do you get the 404

    Mine comes up as Sorry, the page you are looking for does not exist

    But there isn’t 404 attached to it. I can’t even find how to open a webmaster tools account. I do have a goggle account.
    I have requested a blog that was deleted under 2 hours of being posted 5 times now. With webmaster removal tool. I have tried to put cache URL in, somebody suggested to just put the URL link that leads to the page that say’s Sorry, the page you are looking for does not exist.

    All keep coming back as DENIED. With some idiotic statement that the cache page already has been deleted, WHEN IT HASN’T.

    It has not been deleted. You can google 3 names that were a part of that blog and the CACHE part is still underneath link and when clicked onto BRINGS THE WHOLE DAMN PAGE UP.
    Though it has been deleted from blog as soon as I realized it was posted.

    I have no idea how to apply meta things, robot things or whatever to my WordPress Blog. I have read and read but I do not understand how to do this.

    All I know is that webmaster removal tool keeps saying DENIED to every new request. I tried everything.

    Again how can you get this 404 to appear??? Blog Deleted and long gone, Cache page remains to be clicked on and brought up on google search.

    I even e-mailed WordPress for help but they said I do own my site. So on webmaster removal tool it states:

    If you own the site
    1.Verify your ownership of the site in Webmaster Tools.
    2.On the Webmaster Tools home page, click the site you want.
    3.On the Dashboard, click Site configuration in the left-hand navigation.
    4.Click Crawler access, and then click Remove URL.
    5.Click New removal request.
    6.Type the URL of the page you want removed from search results (not the Google search results URL or cached page URL), and then click Continue. How to find the right URL. Note that the URL is case-sensitive—you will need to submit the URL using exactly the same characters and the same capitalization that the site uses.
    7.Click Remove page from search results and cache.
    8.Select the checkbox to confirm that you have completed the requirements listed in this article, and then click Submit Request.

    I can’t even find the HOME PAGE they are talking about. Went to WORDPRESS thinking I’d find these links, but no go here. I cannot get to webmaster removal DASHBOARD at all.

    So still cannot figure any of this out. I did every detail you’ve said to do, still getting denied and cache page I don’t want to exist still remains.

    All of this is being done as a favor to somebody else. But now it has became personal because I cannot get google to honor my request to REMOVE cache page, or REMOVE the word CACHE underneath link that leads to nothing. So it can’t bring up the page as it was written.

    Very very frustrating.

    Any furthur suggestions would be appreciated to accomplish this Cache removal and any suggestion how to apply what needs to be applied to Blogs that this never happens again.

    I own a computer but certainly do not know even a fraction of it’s technology.

  7. Sir i have a website and i want that google cache should delete a webpage of some other site.The thing is there is a forum which is fake & some guys have posted wrong and fake statements on a web-forum “consumercomplaints.in”.Is it possible ? please help me asap.

    bill jason

    • I can’t help you with this. If the page is a “404” (page not found) you can proceed and use the URL Removal Tool as outlined above and if not you can’t.

  8. Does Google webmaster tools work for deleting blog posts\comments from Google Reader? Or only Google search engine results?

  9. How long does it take for the post to actually be deleted from the reader cache…My status still show it’s pending and I’m so scared this infomation may be viewed in google reader by some bloggers.

    Thanks for the help timethief. this was helpful but I hope it is removed ASAP.

  10. Also I will be adding you back to the blog roll when i’m done updating it the logo’s made the page load slow so i’m improving the page with more info about each site

  11. Your welcome timethief,and I will be on the look out for your updated resource page.
    Keep up the great work your doing here on “One Cool Site” :)

  12. You’re welcome Teck. Right now I’m working on updating and integrating my notes into the resources page. It’s a huge job but I’m glad to share. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense for me to have a “private” library, besides which, I like helping people. I makes me feel happy. :-)

  13. Thank you timethief for posting this article and also for all the other great info on this blog :)

  14. YAY! I’m so glad I was able to help and that you have it sorted out now. Thanks for stopping by to say how it all turned out. Happy blogging!

  15. hi, timethief! it’s has nothing to do with this particular topic (sorry :x), I’m just passing by to thank you for the help about my domain mapping issue! ppl at the forum adviced me to do the same as you told me, and it worked perfectly! :)

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