A Cre8asite Forums thread tells the perfect story of someone who wants a page they own to be removed from the search engines.
One of my clients is an attorney and all of his partners have their own biography page on his website. One of the partners just left the firm and I removed her file from the server.
Now when her name shows up in the SE's, it's linked to a 404 error page I created, "Page cannot be found..."
My client doesn't want her name showing up at all in the SE's with a link to his website, even if it's to an error page.
With Google or Yahoo, there are ways to expedite the removal of the cache page and URL from the search engine. Recently, Google announced a new way to remove content from Google. You basically login to your verified Google Webmaster Central account and use the remove page tool. Yahoo also has a delete URL feature that allows verified site owners to remove URLs from their search index.
But the problem here is that this specific client, in the example above, wants the page removed from MSN Search. Microsoft has not given us a way to expedite the removal of a page or the cache results. Nor has Ask.com.
So what can a person do?
Softplus in the forums offers some suggestions:
(1) 404 the page, but that may take a pretty long time to impact the search results. (2) Just change the content of that page and the next time Mr. Spider comes to crawl the page, the cache will be updated and the content you want removed will be gone. (3) 301 the page to a different but related page.
Here are some other ideas: - Block the page using a robots.txt command - Add the nocache tag to the page
I personally think option two might be the quickest method outside of using a tool to remove the page, which is not offered by Microsoft of Ask.com.
Forum discussion at Cre8asite Forums.