In some instances, you may want to remove your URLs or website from the Google Search Results pages. Whether you have a beta testing environment, or you’re setting up your website before launching it to the public, it’s important that you prevent it from appearing to users searching on Google and Bing.
Luckily this guide will teach you how to remove or block your website from appearing on search engines.
In a nutshell, when we say that we’re going to remove a website from search engines, it means that we’re blocking the crawlers from accessing your website’s content, or feeding it directives so that your website won’t be indexed.
Users still have the ability to access your content, whether it’s internal employees or external visitors, but the only way to view the website is if they have direct links guiding them to your web pages.
Below are four ways that you can remove your website from Google.
The first option is to add noindex tags to all of your website pages. Noindex tags are directives telling search crawlers that your web pages shouldn’t appear as results on search engines. They can still find and discover your content, but with the directive in place, they won’t index your content.
Noindex tags should be placed on all site pages in the <head> section as HTML code.
The second option is to add disallow directives to your website’s robots.txt file.
When a search crawler visits your website, one of the first things it does is checks your robots.txt file to see what directives are in place for the crawler to follow.
Your disallow directives should look something like this in your robots.txt file:
However, Google may still index your pages if it’s being linked to from other websites, so you should still set noindex tags as a safety precaution to prevent indexation.
Let’s say that you were too late in implementing the first two options, and Google is already indexing your website.
In this instance, you can remove your website from Google using the site removal tool in Search Console.
You’ll first need to create an account, and after accessing the web site removal tool, select New Removal Request and fill out the required information in order to submit your removal request.
The safest way to ensure that your website isn’t indexed is by requiring crawlers and users to sign in before accessing your web pages.
Google and other search engines aren’t able to mimic user behavior, which means they can’t sign in to move beyond the login barrier or your website’s firewall. This will 100% prevent your website from ever appearing in the search results.
Now that you’ve read our latest article on how to remove your website from the SERPs, be sure to check out our robust search engine optimization guide for more SEO tips and content.