Google Webmaster Tools Reporting False URL Removals?

Jun 10, 2013 • 8:46 am | comments (7) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Google Webmaster ReportA Google Webmaster Help thread has a possible bug report in Google Webmaster Tools.

The issue is, the index status report within Webmaster Tools is reporting two URLs as being removed from a specific web site. But that webmaster promises not to have used the URL removal tool within Webmaster Tools, nor did the webmaster block it via robots.txt or other methods.

Here is a screen shot showing no URLs removed via the removal tool:

google removal url tool

Here is a screen shot showing two urls removed via the index status report:

google removal url tool

Seems like no one in the thread has a clear answer.

Google's Gary Illyes finally did respond, promising to have someone at Google look into the issue. He wrote:

Thanks for posting this. I sent it over to the guys responsible for that feature in Webmaster Tools and they're going to take a look.

I'll come back with more details in the unlikely case you need to change something on your side.

Have you noticed issues in this area recently?

Forum discussion at Google Webmaster Help.

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06/11/2013 03:31 am

I've actually encountered a different error within the URL Removal feature (either way it was a strange glitch), where we successfully submitted a URL for removal and several months later it was still appearing in search results (even though in Webmaster Tools it is listed as Removed). Hopefully they can resolve some of these issues - luckily for us it wasn't a biggie, but it could pose a more significant problem for others

the sniga

06/11/2013 07:14 am

I am totally agree wit you barry. I am suffering lot of URL Removal feature from past couple of weeks. I also posted lot of threads on other forums but not get satisfied replies.

Josh Squires

06/11/2013 03:08 pm

HAven't had an issue with this feature myself, but since the roll out a couple weeks ago I've noticed 7 pages from my site have been de-indexed. Wonder if this is related...

daniel imbellino

06/11/2013 08:40 pm

Webmaster tools shows URL's that were removed for various reasons, including by Google themselves, not just removals by webmasters. When you see URL's that were removed without your consent, then its obvious that Google is the one responsible for taking this action. Content that violates Google's terms of service and webmaster guidelines, as well as content that violates copyright laws, can all be subject to being removed by Google manually, and in some cases algorithmically as well. With Google's crack down on scraped content, I would assume a lot of webmasters who aren't playing by the rules will be seeing a lot more of this. Scraped content could also be a valid reason for removing content from search results. Sometimes Google will remove a page from search results without necessarily penalizing an entire domain.


06/20/2013 02:49 pm

buggy google, everywhere bugs even in penguin and panda

Spook SEO

01/29/2014 05:30 am

Heeyahh. Maybe Google encountered a bit system error on that case. I experienced removing bad Url's (PANDA UPDATE) and it seems that I didn't encounter errors like yours. I think so.

Artur Szalak

03/05/2014 12:39 pm

Any news from Google re this? I have encountered this recently with one URL only. It keeps appearing in serps all the time even though the content is long gone and webmaster tools recognize the content's gone.

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