Google's Content Removal Tool Is Not HTTPS or WWW Specific

Jul 3, 2008 • 8:07 am | comments (3) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Did you know that Google's Remove Content tool in Webmaster Tools is not HTTPS or WWW specific? Meaning, if you want to use the tool to remove all your HTTPS pages from the Google index, it will also remove your HTTP version. And if you want to remove the WWW version, it will also remove the non WWW version from Google?

A Webmaster learned that the hard way and we see his story in a Google Groups thread. In short, he tried to remove all his HTTPS pages form the Google index to find that his whole site was removed. It is a good thing Google has a way to reinclude content within 90-days, with ease.

JohnMu of Google basically apologized for the misunderstanding, he said:

Yes, the URL removal tool removes both the https:// and the http:// versions of the URL. Additionally, it also removes both the www and the non-www versions (if relevant).

Some of the documentation and the descriptions within Webmaster Tools look like they might be incorrect, we're working on fixing that in one of the upcoming releases (it takes a lot of time to get all the translations in :-)).

Personally, I am always afraid of using this tool. I use it for specific URLs, but outside of that, I stay away.

Google launched a new Google Removal Tool within Webmaster Tools in April 2007. In July 2007, Google dropped the old removal tool and redirected it to Webmaster Tools. There is a public content removal tool available for sites outside of your verified list.

Forum discussion at Google Groups.

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07/03/2008 01:11 pm

90 days to reinclude - thats an eternity online.... I wouldn't call that with ease......


07/03/2008 01:18 pm

could this not also be a sign that google treats http/https and www/non-www as the same page and would not see it as duplicate content?


07/03/2008 07:58 pm

bill, 90 days is the default time frame for the removal. However, you can cancel your removal at any time during that time, if you realize that it wasn't really what you wanted to do.

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