How to remove URLs from our index (expanded edition)

This has been an excellent week in Webmaster Center. Our new Bing community forums are alive and vibrant with excellent questions and people who are willing to share their knowledge. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has participated. We look forward to your continued participation going forward!

I’ve received a couple great questions on the forums lately and, although we have posted on a few of these topics in the past, I think it is time to expand on one of those topics.

Removing URLs from the index

In our earlier blog post, we provided instructions on how to request URL removals. The previous post indicated that the page must be rendered unavailable to the crawler by a 404 or to use <meta> robots tags. I want to expand on this. Our current requirements for URL removal are (pick one):

  1. 404 the page

  2. Use <meta name=“robots” content=“noindex”>  within your page’s <head> tags

  3. Block the content in your robots.txt file

  4. Follow the remaining directions in the original post linked to above

There has been some confusion in the past as to what type of request to use.

Remove my content: This is the option to remove the URL from our index. It takes between 48 and 72 hours once the ticket has been created by the Bing support team for the content to be fully removed from the index. 

Cache removal:  This option will only remove the cached page but not the actual URL from the index. Some have requested this option hoping to trigger a recrawl. However, if that is the goal, this method doesn’t lead to the desired effect. This option is best when there has been an important content change, but the old page is still available.

Unfortunately, we have seen many instances where people have mistakenly asked for a cache removal and after waiting a week or two, they contact us again asking why the page is still in our index. Because URL removal is permanent until you file a reinclusion request (located on the same form), it is imporatant that we accept the requests as they are specifically submitted. We don’t want to make the mistake of removing a URL if you really did only want a cache removal.

When entering your information in the support request form, you have two choices for either option:

  • Enter single URLs line by line

  • Use a wildcard after the domain name, such as* or*

If this post did not answer your questions about content removal from the Bing index, please feel free to post your questions on our webmaster forums. Thanks!

— Brett Yount, Bing Webmaster Center

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