How to Remove Bad or Broken Links From Google

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Stumbling on bad or broken links during Google searches may leave Web surfers with a poor impression about your online operation. Protect the reputation of your site's content, products or services by removing bad or broken links from Google's search results. Googlebots perform regular crawls to prevent users from accessing obsolete pages as your website's content changes and the sooner that Google crawls your site after you make changes, the better. A fresh Google crawl updates Google's index, which leads users to up-to-date web pages and live links -- but Google doesn't offer a way to control the frequency of its site crawls. So the next best solution for removing bad or broken links is to submit a link removal request to Google. Assuming that you know which links are bad or broken, use Google's URL removal tool to make those bad or broken links disappear from Google search results.

Things You'll Need

  • Google webmaster account
  • Access Google's URL tool by entering google.com/webmasters/tools/removals into your Web browser.

  • Sign into Google Webmaster Tools with your Google email address and password. A "My Removal Requests" page appears.

  • Click "New removal request" to initiate a link removal.

  • Enter the bad or broken link's URL into the text field that pops up. The link removal tool feature is case-sensitive. Use upper and lowercase letters as necessary. Right-click and paste a copy of the link in need of removal for best results.

  • Click "Continue" and proceed to the "Remove a URL from Google's search results" page.

  • Verify that the URL is correct on the "Remove a URL from Google's search results" page.

  • Select the reason why you would like to remove the link. In the case of broken or bad links, you may specify that the "Content has already been removed from the page" if necessary, or, indicate that the "Webmaster has already blocked the page."

  • Enter the search term you used to find the broken link if you "Content has already been removed from the page" is the reason for your URL removal request. For example, if Google's cache is continuing to display a page with the word "dog" in it after the content was removed, use the word "dog" as a term that has been removed from the page.

  • Check the "permanent removal" box if applicable. Pages that return a "Resource not found" and "Resource gone, no forwarding address" message, or those already blocked by a meta tag or robots.txt, qualify for permanent removal.

  • Click "Submit Request." The "My Removal Requests" page should reappear.

  • Review the status of your link removal request. The "My Removal Requests" page reveals the current status of each request. The word "Pending" should appear at the end of a successful URL removal request. The status will change to "Removed" after Google processes the request.

Tips & Warnings

  • URL removal requests stay in effect for a minimum of 90 days, which gives Googlebots time to crawl and update their index of your site's content.
  • You may cancel a URL removal request while its status is pending by signing into Google Webmaster Tools and revisiting the "My Removal Request" page.

References

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