How to remove a URL from Google search results
Every so often, you may wish that a particular page of your website would suddenly disappear from Google. It might be that you’ve sunset a particular program and don’t want organic searchers to find your organization for related keywords anymore. Maybe an intern accidentally published a work-in-progress page unveiling an upcoming event you’re not ready for the world to see. Whatever the reason may be, it does happen sometimes that you need a result to disappear – and fast.
Just deleting the page is usually sufficient. Google’s crawlers will eventually discover that the address they’ve indexed leads to a 404 “page not found” error. They’ll then remove it on their own. But that could take weeks. Even if users won’t arrive at the page in question and view the content, your domain could still be linked to that particular search term much longer than you’d prefer.
Google Search Console to the rescue
There is an option to immediately (albeit temporarily) remove a particular URL or a pattern of URLs from Google Search results. Log in to your Google Search Console account and choose Index > Removals from the left-hand navigation. Select Temporary Removals > New Request. Here you can enter the URL in question, or choose “Remove all URLs with this prefix.” That second option is useful if you want to remove an entire directory of content.
As mentioned, this is not a permanent solution. But it is fast and effective for those emergency situations. You may find yourself having to submit a new request after about 6 months if you haven’t taken steps to permanently rectify. Only by deleting or completely obscuring the content from public crawlers will you permanently have it disappear from search results.