Deleting images and pages – FAQs

Frequent questions regarding using the URL removal tool to remove images and pages from Google.

What is the difference between a cache removal and a url or page removal?
A cache removal will only removal the snippet and the cache text and leave the url. A url removal will remove everything. Read more information regarding url/page removals -v- cache removals.

How do I submit a removal request ?
There are instructions with pictures which may help you for directory removals, image removals and cache removals which you can find within this category.

Why do I still see the link after a successful cache removal?
As you have only ‘hidden’ the snippet and the cache, the url and title will still show until the page is naturally recrawled. At that point it may drop out if not relevant for the search.

How long will a recrawl take to totally remove a page or url after content has been amended?
There is no set time. If the pages are popular then maybe sooner rather than later. For more obscure pages you could be waiting months.

Why do I still see the urls in the index after a successful removal?
Maybe you are seeing them on similar urls as often content can be duplicated on sites. It could be that you submitted your request incorrectly, for example; if you have requested a directory removal and still see the content, check that your request actually reads ‘Directory Removal’ and not page removal.

How long will it all take ?
If you have requested pages or caches to be removed from Google then you can normally expect your request to be dealt with in a day or so.

Can I request a recrawl of a page or speed it up in some way ?

You can request a recrawl of a page by entering the url here or in your Search Console (ak.a. Webmaster Tools) account under Crawl > Fetch as Google

The recrawl function does not work on non-html content like images or pdf’s, only web pages. Also, there is no status indicator and so you need to be sure at the time of entering the url that you input the correct one. Generally, wait around a few days to a week to see if this has helped.

If you are a site owner and you have verified your site in Search Console (a.k.a. Webmaster Tools) then you can submit pages for recrawling after fetching with the ‘Fetch as Googlebot’ feature.

There are limits for the number of recrawls you can submit per week. Currently at around 50. It should be noted that Google does naturally recrawl content and find updated pages as part of normal functions.

I have read the requests last for 90 days – will the content show again ?
Requests last for a minimum of 90 days, after that they can expire. If the content is no longer on the page or the page is no longer available then it will not show again.

Why does the url removal tool not accept my url ?
This is normally because you have pending requests for the same. Await for them to resolve and try again.

When will Google recrawl my pdf or word doc pages to update the content?
There is no set time but non-html content (like pdfs, word docs and images) might be crawled alot slower. If it is urgent these are updated then you are best renaming the urls and deleting the old and getting the new ones reindexed afresh.

I can't get the content removed from the site, what can I do?
If you can't get the content removed or blocked at the source then there is little that you can do. Maybe try and get more results which you would prefer to come higher in the search results to push others down or hope that over time, the ones showing will lose their relevance.