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Remove Pages from Search Engine Indexes

If you delete a page from your site, that page may still come up in search results for days or weeks. Most sites in our Roxen systems use Google's index for the internal site search.

Eventually, most search engines will reindex your site, but deleted pages could still show up as a cached search result. The major search engines, including Google, provide online tools that allow site owners to take control of a site’s index.

  1. Log in to Google Search Console (aka Google Webmaster Tools). If you are not permitted to access this tool with your Princeton Google Apps account, you will need to use a personal Google account.
  2. Click the “Add a Property” button, and enter your website’s address.
  3. You will need to verify ownership of your site. Google provides multiple options for this. For sites in Roxen CMS, the recommended method is to download an HTML verification file. Using the Roxen Content Editor, upload that file to the main level (root level) of your website. Commit that file and wait a few minutes for the file to copy to the front end servers.
  4. Once verification is complete, you will need to navigate within the search console dashboard to Google Index → Remove URLs.
  5. Use the “Temporarily Hide” button to add URLs that you want to remove from Google’s index. You will likely want to select the option to also remove the cached version of the page from Google’s index.
  6. Other popular search engines, such as Bing and Yandex, have their own webmaster tools services, providing similar options for site verification and URL removal.