Marketing 2 min read

Mueller Explains How Google's URL Removal Tool Works

Edho Pratama /

Edho Pratama /

In a recent tweet, John Mueller answered a question about Google’s URL Removal tool and why it may not be working as expected.

As frustrating as it may be, it’s not uncommon for a website to get hacked. The next step would be to clean the code, optimize, and secure the website. And that’s where the URL Removal tool comes in.

The common perception is that the Search Console tool can help remove URLs from the search engine result pages and index. But that’s not actually what happened.

The question reads:

“Even after removing URLs from SERP through Search console, the URLs tend to come back to the search results or remain in index though as 404 pages. Why is Google getting those 404 pages back in index after removing them?”

In response, Mueller provided a quick explanation of how the tool works.

How Google’s URL Removal Tool Works

According to Mueller, Google’s URL Removals Tool doesn’t actually remove any index. Instead, it temporarily hides the selected pages from the search results.

Mueller noted:

“The URL removal tool in Search Console just temporarily hides pages from the search results, it doesn’t remove anything from the index.”

Likewise, a document on Google’s Webmaster Support page stated that the tool results in a temporary removal. In fact, the page used the word “temporarily” eleven times, suggesting that the effect is not permanent.

So, why the confusion?

As Search Engine Journal pointed out, calling the tool a “Removal Tool” suggests a sense of permanence. And that’s because the word “removal” describes the action of taking away or abolishing something unwanted.

Some synonyms for “removal” include “discarding,” “disposal,” “dumping,” “scrapping,” and “riddance.” So, the confusion is not surprising.

Nevertheless, the effect of Google’s URL Removal Tool is temporary. Perhaps Google should consider renaming the tool to avoid more confusion.

Read More: Google Rolls Out Question Hub in the United States

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Sumbo Bello

Sumbo Bello is a creative writer who enjoys creating data-driven content for news sites. In his spare time, he plays basketball and listens to Coldplay.

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