The internet is an ever-changing place, and something that may be relevant today might end up being useless outdated info just two days later. With such a high frequency of change, it can be difficult for Google to keep up-to-date with content spanning billions upon billions of webpages. For this reason, manual control is granted to ordinary people and website owners through specialized tools and forms.
Using these tools one can quickly remove outdated content from Google’s search results. This content can range anywhere from linking to outdated solutions when new ones exist, to even showing webpages in its search results that no longer exist and lead to Error 404 pages that can frustrate people surfing the web. There are two different kinds of modifications you can make to Google search results regarding outdated content; editing the search results related to your website, and editing search results related to content that you don’t actually own.
Malicious Acts Will Not Go Through
Obviously, with as big a market share that Google has, coupled with people’s tendency to be not pleasant folk on the internet from behind the anonymity of their screens, Google would have been stupid to let any Tom, Dick, or Harry mess with its search results. Unlike editing on Wikipedia, changes you submit are not going to take place immediately, and will instead need to be manually approved by Google. This precautionary measure ensures that no unwanted or false changes are made to Google’s search results regarding a particular matter.
Removing Outdated Content Regarding Your Website
If your website is the sort of place that constantly sees changes being made regarding its content, or if it is just undergoing a massive change with older articles being updated and reuploaded somewhere else, removing outdated content from Google’s search results will be something you will have to constantly partake in. Google automatically does tweak its search results relative to every website out there over time, but for some websites these tweaks might be taking place too late each time, in which case the owners of these websites take it upon themselves to help speed along the whole process.
Doing this is very easy. Say hello to the Google Search Console. This is your one stop shop for managing your website when it comes to Google search results. This is also where you first submit your website after it is done so that it may turn up in Google’s search results. For forcing Google to update its search results and its website index when it comes to your website, all you have to do is put your URL on which you have updated content into the Inspect field found at the top and then click on THE ‘Request Indexing’ button. And viola, you’re done! Told you it was super simple.
Removing Outdated Content that You Don’t Own
Removing outdated content is also quite simple. You will still need to work with the Google Search Console, but this time you would also need manual approvement. There are two types of outdated content removal that you can help with; removing dead or taken down webpages from Google’s search results, or removing outdated data caches regarding a webpage that has been altered and now hosts new content.
Removing Dead or Missing Webpages
This one is quite easy to do. Simply go to the Google Search Console and then to its Removal Tool. Here you can submit a request for a removal by providing the URL of the page you want removed. Following this step of the process, Google will automatically try to detect if the URL does indeed contain a dead or blocked webpage. If it confirms yes, it will let you know. After that you can go ahead and forward the removal request which will then take some time to be manually approved. You can of course, keep track of all of your pending requests on the Google Search Console.
Removing or Updating Modified Content
This step if for when the webpage is still online but content in it has been changed or taken down and Google’s search results do not mirror those internal changes. To begin this step, you will need to do everything the same as the process of removing dead pages; which means submitting a URL on the Google Search Console’s Removal Tool and letting Google automatically determine the fate of the webpage.
Except, this time Google will tell you that the webpage is still on the web. Below this notification you will be presented with two options. The second option is for insisting that the whole webpage is indeed dead, whilst the first one is the one you need in this scenario. The first option will let Google know that their cache or snippet of that particular webpage is outdated. Google will then ask you to input the word, phrase, or any other form of data that is no longer available on the webpage but still appears in Google’s search result caches. You can then forward the removal request and keep track of its resolution status.
Google Search Console’s Removal Tool is super easy to use and gets you results super quick, pun intended. For most removal cases and requests forwarded to Google the resolution time rarely ever exceeds 24 hours. However, please do keep in mind that almost all of these requests are also forwarded to the website owners to let them know. This means that fraudulent requests or acts of trolling waste not only Google’s time as their people try to manually approve each request, but also the time of the owners of that specific website.
Furthermore, it is advised that you do not crowd the Indexer tool for every little change you make. Google normally has a decent enough web crawling rate to keep its web index up-to-date. Only consider requesting web indexing for your URLs if you have made a big change in some article or changed around a bunch of pages that really deviate from how your website was like before the changes. In the meantime, be sure to read the other helpful posts we have for you, like a similar guide to removing outdated content from Yahoo or continuing your job search remotely.