Google's John Mueller responded to a tweet about the URL removal tool and why it wasn't working the way it was expected. The question was related to a website that was hacked and generated Japanese spam pages.
Google search results show hacked pages
One of the most frustrating things that happens to a site is getting hacked. The frustration is compounded when Google shows non-existent spam URLs in search results.
This scenario was dealt with by the very person who asked the question. You tried using Google's URL removal tool but it didn't seem to have the expected and desired effect.
According to the person who asked the question:
"Japanese spam" attacks a website, the owner cleans up the code, optimizes and secures the website, but the search results take their own time to produce decent results. "
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Next, they described the problem:
"Even after URLs are removed from SERP via the search console, URLs usually return to search results or stay in the index despite having 404 pages."
Why does Google put these 404 pages back in the index after removing them? "
Even after removing URLs from SERP via the search console, URLs usually return to search results or stay in the index even though they are 404 pages long.
Why does Google put these 404 pages back in the index after removing them?
– DigitalSearch (@DigitalSearchIN) January 5, 2021
How Google's URL Removal Tool works
The person who asked the question was confused about why the URLs stayed in the Google search index. It is common knowledge that using the URL Removal Tool removes the URL from the SERPs and index.
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But that's not what actually happens.
John Mueller replied via Twitter:
"The URL removal tool in the Search Console only temporarily hides pages from search results and does not remove anything from the index.
Sometimes these pages take a while to reindex (and usually these pages pop up less often when searching anyway, so few people see them). "
The URL Removal Tool in the Search Console only temporarily hides pages from search results and does not remove anything from the index. Sometimes these pages take a while to reindex (and usually these pages pop up less often when searching anyway, so few people see them).
– 🍌 John 🍌 (@JohnMu) January 5, 2021
Google Search Console Help: URL Removal Tool
The Google Webmaster Support Page for the URL Removal Tool clearly states that the tool will perform a temporary removal. The word "temporary" is used eleven times on the page to indicate that the effect is not permanent.
The site says:
"You can use the removal tool to temporarily block pages from Google search results on websites you own."
Further down the page it says that the tool is effective in preventing a URL from appearing in search results.
"Follow this procedure to temporarily block a URL from appearing in Google search results."
In some ways it is a little confusing to refer to the tool as a removal tool, as the word "remove" has a sense of permanence.
The definition of the word "distance" is:
"The act of taking away or doing away with something undesirable."
This definition does not take into account the temporality of the distance.
But the fact is that the effect of the tool is only temporary.
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Maybe google should rename it from url removal tool to temporary url removal tool?