How To Remove Website (URLs) From Search Engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo, Etc)

Okay, so because of some reasons, you have decided to completely remove your website or pages from search engines.

You’re at the right place, this tutorial will tell you how to perfectly remove your posts/pages/website from Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other search engines.

The steps are pretty easy and you won’t face any issues with them, however, I still request you to pay attention to each and every step, otherwise, things might not work.

So, without wasting any more time, let’s jump right into it.

(A short note: before I begin, I would like to let you know, following the steps shown below doesn’t guarantee your site pages will be removed completely. It is up to search engines if they decided to show your pages at any cost. They will show it, no one can stop them unless you delete your website completely.)

Method 1: Enable “Discourage search engines from indexing this site”

If you use WordPress for your website, you might have heard about this option. Enabling it will stop search engine crawlers from crawling your site.

Slowly, search engines will begin to remove your pages from their results. However, it will take time, in some cases, it could take 6 months or more to completely remove every link of your site from search results.

Now, let’s look at the steps you have to follow in order to enable “Discourage search engines from indexing this site”

Step 1: Login to your WordPress dashboard

The first step you have to take is logging into your WP dashboard.

Step 2: Hover over to “Settings” and select the “Reading” option

Once you’re successfully logged in to your WordPress dashboard, simply click or hover over Settings and then select Reading.

Settings-to-Reading

Step 3: Check on “Discourage search engines from indexing this site”

Scroll down and you’ll find the “Discourage search engines from indexing this site”, enable it.

Make sure to click Save Changes once you are done with the steps.

Note: Enabling “Discourage search engines from indexing this site” doesn’t guarantee that search engines will stop crawling your site, they can still show your posts pages in the results because it is up to search engines to honor your request. If they denied the honor of your request, your site will show in the search result.

Method 2: Add A “Noindex” Tag

This point is a little technical, it might be a little hard to understand as a beginner as well, however, if you notice the steps carefully, you won’t face difficulties in adding the Noindex tag.

Let’s first understand, what is exactly a Noindex tag and how does it work?

A Noindex tag basically tells the search engines to not feature this page/post in the search results. It’s a sign for Google bots to not crawl your page at all.

How to implement Noidex tag

As I said, implementing the Noidex tag is technical, however, there are some plugins that can do the job for us, but I don’t really recommend plugins when you can do it manually.

Plugins increase server pressure, which eventually drops the performance of a website. So, always go for manual methods whenever you can.

Now, there are two ways to add Noindex, you can add the Noindex tag in “<meta> tag” or in the “HTTP Response Header”.

Let’s look at both the ways one by one.

Adding Noindex in <meta> tag

To stop most search engine web crawlers from indexing a page/post on your site, put the following meta tag into the <head> section of your page:

<meta name="robots" content="noindex">

To stop only Google web crawlers from indexing a page/post add this code in the head section:

<meta name="googlebot" content="noindex">

Here is how to add the Noidex tag in the header. (Credit: Hubspot)

First, open the source code of the web page you’re attempting to de-index. Then, paste the entire tag into a new line in the <head> section of your page’s HTML, as the page’s header. The screenshots shown below will walk you through it.

The <head> tag indicates the beginning of your header:

head tag at beginning of header

Here’s the metatag for both “Noindex” and “Nofollow” pasted in the header:

meta tag in header for noindex nofollow

And the </head> tag indicates the end of the header:

end head tag

Bang! That’s it. This tag informs a search engine to turn around and go out, leaving the page out of any search results.

HTTP response header

According to Google itself, Rather than a meta tag, you can even return a X-Robots-Tag header with a value of either noindex or none in your response. A response header can be utilized for non-HTML resources, such as PDFs, video files, and image files. Here’s a simple example of an HTTP response with an X-Robots-Tag telling crawlers not to index a page:

HTTP/1.1 200 OK
(…)
X-Robots-Tag: noindex
(…)

If you want more information on the noindex response header, you can read the guide by Google.

Method 3: Delete The Website Or Pages

This would surely fix the problem, but you would need to be 200% sure to do this, especially, if the site contains contents.

Deleting a website can be really simple, in fact, you can ask your host to do this for you. Or, simply just don’t renew hosting, in that way, your hosting company will shut down your website.

If you only want to remove certain pages or posts, then delete them one by one. Google or other search engines will take some time, but they will begin removing the content you’ve deleted for your site.

Do I suggest this? Well, no I don’t recommend this method unless you know what you’re doing. This method could erase your website’s history which won’t be terrible if you’re seeing a long-term benefit with the site.

I don’t need to guide you on how to delete a page or post, I guess you’re well aware of that. In case, you don’t know, you can simply search “how to delete pages in WordPress” you’ll find hundreds of posts covering that.

Also, once you deleted the pages or posts, make sure to clear the cache, if you’re using any caching plugin. This will fast forward the process.

Method 4: Use URL Removal Tool

Every search console provides a URL removal tool. We can take the benefit of this tool to remove outdated URLs from search engines.

First, let’s check how to remove URLs from Google using Google’s search console, and after that, we’ll look at how to use the Bing URL removal tool.

  • Step 1: Log in to your search console dashboard

You can use this link.

  • Step 2: Select the domain

Once you’re successfully logged in, select the domain from the drop-down.

  • Step 3: Click Removals under Index
  • Step 4: Click New Request and then enter the URL that you wanna remove

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Sumit

Sumit is a regular contributor to Hostinggrow.com. He has 6 years of experience in blogging, and he loves football, his favorite player is - Lionel Messi (GOAT), but he has no hate for Ronaldo.

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