You’ve designed a superior new page on your website, but you notice that a quick search still directs people to the old page that you thought was deleted forever. What gives, Google?
How do you get Google to stop serving up the old page in its search results?
Getting It Off Google
Taking steps to confirm that your old page doesn’t pop up on Google Search doesn’t mean that it’s removed from the entire internet. That will require many more steps, so we’re going to focus on eliminating the Google Search problem for now.
Essentially, we’re making sure that when someone Googles you or your business, your deleted page won’t be the first thing that shows up.
The shortest answer and simplest solution is to create a 301 redirect. This command sends users to the new page when they type in or click on a link to the old one. It’s the easiest way to guarantee that everyone will get where you want them to go. You can find how-to instructions here.
Why is it so important that your former page is gone from Google Search? Well, for one thing, it can be very confusing for potential customers or business contacts if a 404 error pops up when they Google your name. It could be a deterrent to anyone considering using your services! Also, if you’ve spent money or time designing a gorgeous new page with fancy bells and whistles, you want people to get there immediately.
Check the Links
Make sure that you don’t have links in other places that lead back to the defunct web page. That way, you’re not inadvertently redirecting people to the place where you don’t want them to go. You should also do a cursory search to see if anyone else has links to the deleted page on their sites.
Your first instinct might be to userobots.txtto block your file, but that will make certain that Google won’t crawl your page. If Google should find a link on another page that directs to your deleted page, it will continue to generate a Google Search result. Google can’t see that your page is deleted if you’re blocking it, so leave it unblocked and include a “noindex” tag. That way, when Google does one its regular crawls, it will see the tag and ensure it’s not included in the search results.
Have a Google conundrum? Add your comment or question below and we might address your issue in an upcoming post!