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How do I remove an unpublished item from Google search? I read an article that recommended adding the meta tag <meta name="robots" content="noindex" /> to exclude a page from crawling and indexing. But in my case, I don't have that item in the web database.

How do I remove it from the crawler?

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  • Is Google crawling your CM site? or a staging site that looks at the master DB?
    – Richard Seal
    Jul 25, 2019 at 13:17
  • Is the item still showing up in Google search? If you click the link, do you get to a valid page? Jul 25, 2019 at 14:42

2 Answers 2

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If you don't have that item accessible publicly anymore, you can use Google Console to request url removal. Quoting https://www.sistrix.com/ask-sistrix/google-index-google-bot-crawler/how-can-i-remove-a-url-on-my-website-from-the-google-index/ article:

Using a setting within the Google Search Console, you are able to easily have a URL removed from the Google index.

In case you are not yet using the Google Search Console, you can activate your website for the free (https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/?hl=en) in just a few minutes. This also lets you remove URLs from the Google Index afterwards.

Removing a URL from the index with the Google Search Console:

  • Log into the Google Search Console and select the desired website

  • Click on “Optimization” in the left-hand navigation

  • Click on “Remove URL” in the sub-menu

  • Click on the button “create a new request for removal” on this page

  • You will now be asked to type in the URL of the page that you want to be removed and confirm your choice by clicking on “continue” (in our example this is the page http://www.example.com/page4.html)

  • Done. Now you have to wait some time until the desired URL is removed from Google’s index.

You should be aware that processing such a request may take a while and there is no option to speedup that process.

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  • I think that if you remove a url from Google and don't take action to tell Google not to index it again, like content="noindex". Google will put it back in the index?
    – Chris Auer
    Jul 25, 2019 at 15:50
  • @ChrisAuer OP wrote that he had unpublished that item. Which means that url is no longer valid and will return 404. Google will not reindex that url if it returns 404.
    – Marek Musielak
    Jul 25, 2019 at 16:18
  • Got it, thanks.
    – Chris Auer
    Jul 25, 2019 at 16:19
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If you need to do this a lot it might make sense to automate this by calling Google's indexing API to remove the item from Google's index. You could for example implement a custom event handler for item:deleted and call the API. More details about the indexing API can be found here.

There is a .NET Client Library which reduces the effort of implementing this. It can be found here

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