Skip Navigation
Expand
Google indexed our site and we want it removed
Answer ID 4575   |   Last Review Date 12/12/2018

How do I remove our site's search results from Google?

Environment:

End user pages on all versions.

Resolution:

When pages are inadvertently indexed by a search engine there are multiple steps that must be followed.

  1. Fix the issue that allowed the pages to be indexed.

    For information on removing your answers or pages from visibility on the Internet, refer to Answer ID 4577: Answers are visible on the end user pages and should not be.

    Occasionally the issue that allowed answer visibility may be resolved before the data is discovered in a search engine.  In these cases it may be difficult if not impossible to discover the reason that the search engine discovered the data.

  2. Submit request to Google, or other search engine, to have the site or pages removed from their index.

After you have fixed this issue that made your pages visible, the pages are still held in Google's index and cache.  The pages will eventually be removed when Google reindexes the site.  If you need to remove them quicker you need to make a request directly to Google.  To remove pages manually you should use Google's removal tool to expedite the process. For an explanation of this process, refer to http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=164734

To verify ownership of a site, you should add the site in your Google Webmaster Tools, http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools.

There are 2 options to verifying ownership of a site with Google.  Information on this process can be found in Google's Webmaster Tools under Add a Site -> Verify ownership.

Option 1 - Upload a Verification File

You can prove ownership of a site by uploading a verification file to the web root directory.  Create an incident with Oracle Service Cloud Technical Support requesting that the file be uploaded to the web root directory. Download the verification file from Google Webmaster Tools and attach it to an incident.  After the file has been uploaded you will need to verify your site with Google.

Option 2 - Insert a Meta Tag  in the page's HEAD section.

You can also add a Meta Tag to your template which is usually standard.php.  Note that this method will not work if you are using logins or a configuration such as SEC_VALID_ENDUSER_HOSTS to restrict access to your site.  Only pages visible to everyone can be viewed by a search engine.  For information on site verification with Meta Tags, refer to Answer ID 4411: Registering your site with a Search Engine.

Cause:

Any pages or documents with public visibility on the end user pages can be indexed by search engines.   There are several reasons that pages may be visible:

  • Security configuration may have been configured incorrectly, 
  • Answers may have been inadvertently set to public or product and category visibility may be inadvertently changed, 
  • The Sitemap feature may be enabled for your site, or
  • Files may be uploaded to the assets directory which does not have visibility controls.