How to Make a Page Disappear from Google

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You can make Google ignore a web page, thereby making it “disappear” from search results, by adding a “noindex" meta tag to the HTML code of a single web page on your site. When Google crawls the page with the noindex tag on it the search engine will delete the page from search results. This method only works if you control the website and have access to the HTML code of a page.

It’s not as scary as it sounds.

Note: This will not delete the page. The page will still exist on the site on which it is published, but it will no longer appear in Google search results. This method also works to remove a web page from most web crawlers like Yahoo and Bing.

How to insert a noindex tag into a WordPress page

WordPress powers 33% of all websites. To prevent most search engines from displaying a specific page of your website, put the following meta tag inside the <head> section of the page you want to make vanish from Google search results. Remember, the page will not disappear from your site – people can still read the page. It will simply not show in Google search results. Here is the tag:

<meta name="robots" content="noindex">

For example, if you have a WordPress based site, follow these steps:

  1. Go to your WordPress site’s admin page and login. This is usually something like http://example.com/wp-admin/
  2. Go to Plugins on the left sidebar and then add the Meta Tag Manager plugin
  3. After adding the plugin (and Activating it), go to Pages -> Example page and click Edit. (Note: “Example” could be the name of any page on your site you want to vanish from Google)
  4. Click “Add Meta Tag” on the page. It looks like this:
  5. Edit three fields, it should look like this when you are done:
    meta-tag-options
  6. Now, update the page. The blue button to Update is usually in the upper right corner. It probably looks something like this:
    update-button-example
  7. Once you have updated your page with the new “noindex” tag, check your work by going to the live page, click refresh in your browser, and right-click on the text to bring up the HTML. On a Mac the option is “View Page Source”. Near the top of the code you will see this:
    noindex-example
  8. That’s it! This page, not your entire site, will now be ignored by Google. You can always go back and delete the tag by clicking the little trash icon next to the tag on the page later if you want. Doing so will make the page searchable by Google again.

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