How to use the removals report in the search console?

Team TypeStack
Team TypeStack ...
Dec 05, 2022  . 5 min read

This blog will tell you how to request your content to be temporarily hidden in Google search results using the Removals report in Search Console. And we will also talk about how to review requests made by other users to remove outdated or inappropriate content on your site.

However, before jumping into Search Console capabilities, we would like to suggest that it is crucial that the tool should only be used for temporary removal requests. You must take additional steps for your content to be removed permanently. We'll discuss the permanent removal of pages from the search later, but check the links in the description for more detailed information.

In addition, for a tool to remove personal information, you cannot use the offensive report information or do anything but manage search results from your own website. To remove information from Google, from the web in general, for content you don't control.

Now that we are aligned on what can be removed and for how long let's talk about the 'Removals report' in Search Console. That's the reason we got together today. The Removals report is divided into three main sections-

  • Temporary removals
  • Outdated content
  • Safe search filtering requests

Let's go over each of them in more detail to help you understand how to use them effectively:

A temporary removal request is a way to remove specific content on your site from Google search results. For example, if you have a URL that you need to take off Google search quickly, you should use this tool. Usually, a successful request lasts for about six months, giving you enough to find a solution to allow the content to be seen or permanently removed.

When you log into Search Console, you'll find the Removals report in the navigation bar. If it's not already selected, select the Temporary Removal step to submit a new removal request. Then, click New Request. You have two types of requests available. For about six months, temporarily Removal URL will block the URL from Google search results. This will also clear the cached copy of the page. Use this option as a quick first step when permanently blocking a page from Google search results.

Clear Cached URL clears the cached page and wipes out the page description snippet in search results until the page is scrolled again when the snippet is generated from the new content. The page description will be empty in search results until the next scroll. Use this option when you remove sensitive information from a page and want to update your results snippet in Google search without removing the page itself from the search.

Be sure that you've removed the sensitive information from your page before clicking this, or else Google will just recall the page and find the same content. For both of these options, you can submit a request for a particular URL or for a complete URL prefix. Make sure you think twice before submitting a request for an entire prefix so that you don't unintentionally block pages that are important to you.

In the Temporary Removal Section, you'll find a summary of the page removals requested through this report in the past six months. You'll see the URL, the request type, the date requested, and the status. You can also use this report to cancel a request if it's no longer necessary. The Outdated Content section provides information on removal requests made through the Public Remove Outdated Content tool, which anyone can use to update search results showing information that is no longer present on a page. This is something that you probably won't need to look at much since Google users can force your pages from a search using this tool.

There are two types of requests- Outdated Cache Removal is used when the page still exists, but some content has been removed. Google clears the page snippet in the search result until the next scroll, and searches for the removed content will no longer show this page. When the page no longer exists, and a user requests its removal from the results of a Google search, that's when Outdated Page Removal is used.

Whether you're using the search at work, with your family, or for yourself, Safe Search can help filter the most sexually explicit results. In addition to setting their personal account preferences, parents can turn on the feature for their kids' supervised devices. And workplaces or schools can turn on the filter at the network level. The Safe Search Filtering section in Search Console shows a history of pages on your site that was reported by Google users as adult content using the Safe Search Suggestion tool.

URLs submitted using this tool are reviewed, and if Google feels that this content should be filtered from Safe Search results, these URLs are tagged as adult content. The report table shows the history of all submitted Safe Search requests for this property in the past six months.

Permanent removal. Now, let's dive into the short explanation of the short explanation might be in order. To remove content from Google search permanently, you must take one or more of the following actions. Remove or update the actual content from your site and return either a 404 or 410 HTTP status code.

Non-HTML files, like PDFs, should be removed entirely from your server. Block access to the content; for instance, you can set a password. Simply redirecting an old page with a 301 response is not enough to remove it from Google search results. The robots.txt also wouldn't work as a blocking mechanism.

Hopefully, now you understand how to request to remove specific content on your site from Google search results and also how to track these requests, along with other user removal requests related to your site.