One of the biggest cause of failed removal requests is submitting the wrong type of request. Before you proceed, understand the difference between the options offered by the removal tool so that your request has more chance of success the first time.
The main request types are page removals and cache removals. (Other requests types are directory removals, site removals and safe search removals)
Follow the paths in the chart below to see an overview
(Click to Enlarge)
Cache removals only remove the snippet shown under the title and the cached page which can be seen if you click on the ‘cache’ link in the search result. This does not removal or stop the entry from appearing in search results, it will appear anyway, but minus the search snippet and the cache.
- Cache removals are best for when the page which holds the content you want removing is still live or forwards to a live url
- For a cache removal the content would need to have been amended or removed in some way since the page was last crawled by Google.
- This does not apply to non-html content like images or pdfs, you cannot request a cache removal for these; they need to be blocked or removed totally or await a recrawl.
- When submitting, choose the second option ‘The page has changed and Google’s cached version is out of date‘
- If you are unsure about the actual process you can read more about submitting a cache removal request.
This will remove the whole page from appearing. This is always the better option.
- Page removals are best for when the whole page has been blocked and meets Google’s removal criteria for removal.
- You can check the page status on this site or ask on the Webmaster forum if you are not sure.
- When submitting, choose the first option ‘Page has been removed or blocked from search engines‘
- If you are unsure about the actual process you can read more about submitting a url removal request.
Before you submit a request
Check to see whether you are requesting the correct option. If the page has been blocked in a way suitable to Google then you should request a page removal.
If the page is not eligible for removal then submit a cache removal. Whilst this does not remove the page, it can reduce the visibility in search results until it is naturally recrawled.