“We’re happy to announce that we’re launching a new version of the Removals report” in Google Search Console: these words open up the post on Webmaster Central Blog describing the renewed tool for all those webmasters and SEOs using the suite made in Google.

The features of the Removals report

There are three main features of this tool, that obviously intervenes only on property and verified sites:

  1. To temporarily hide the site’s URLs from search results.
  2. To consult the removal requests of all outdated contents.
  3. To view the URLs blocked by the SafeSearch.

How to temporarily block the site’s URLs

Google offers the opportunity to temporarily hide site pages from search results. It is a chance pretty useful on some circumstances, like when we want to quickly remove a URL from Google Research (to then have the time to find out a final solution) or when – after removing all the sensitive contents from a page – we mean to delete them from search results without necessarily remove the entire page.

We can choose between two types of action: to hide the results from Google Research and delete the cache copy of the page, or to delete the page memorized by the cache and its descripting snippet until the page undergoes a new scan.

How long does the removal take?

The URl to remove can concern a web page or an image and a successful request takes about six months, a time length that should be sufficient for us to study a permanent solution to the problem.

It is good to clarify that the temporary removal does not delete contents from the Internet and it is only valid on Google (not for other search engines), but most of all it does not truly delete the URL from the Google Index  and it is only useful to hide it from search results for a semester. In order to remove the URL for good we need to use a different method, such as to put the page on a 404 status, using a password, to forbid indexing with a noindex meta tag and so on.

Important notes on the tool

Moreover, the guidelines of the tool clarify that blocking a URL does not prevent Google to perform the scan of the page nor, then, the creation of a new cache copy before the page is actually removed or protected by password. At the end of the time period, the page will be able to appear again among search results. At the same time, if the URL cannot be reached, Google assumes that the page has been removed and for that the block request expires: all of the pages later detected will be considered as new pages and could then appear among Research results.

Managing outdated contents

Through the tool it is then possible to read the chronology of requests made in the last six months through the GSC “Remove outdated contents” tool, that allows common users (even to the ones who are not the actual owners of the site) to report whenever Google Research shows information that are not really on the site’s pages anymore.

From this screen we can then discover all the URL involved, the date and type of request (removal of cache copy or of the page itself) and – most important – the status of the request.

Pages reported as adult contents

The third feature concernes the SafeSearch filter within the Research and shows a chronology of the site’s pages reported by Google users as adult contents through the dedicated suggestions. Google investigates the requests and, in case of confirmation, marks the URLs as “adult contents”, hiding them from SERPs for those users whose filter has been activated.

From this screen we can acquire info on the offending pages as well as the status of the verification made by Google, then simplifying operations in case of issues with adult contents (true or allegged).

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