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 example.com/* or example.com/directory/*

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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43 comments
  1. VIKRANT JAIN

    It is a great topic t learn, but i want to know more huge info. on same.

  2. Anonymous

    Interesting post, and it's really helpful, I am a seo-er and need to no follow the page for some time when we do the work.

    I have a request – when you said we can blog the page by robot text file, I can't fine how, so do you tell me how is the code to block the page in robots.txt file

  3. Michael Raines

    Yes, its helpful.

  4. Shaikh Izaj Ahmed

    I was in a search for a long time to remove urls from index, and found a correct and up to date article. Thanks.

  5. Anonymous

    i thought we need to implement nofollow tag instead of noindex, so thanks for this information

  6. Anonymous

    Great info. Will help me to optimize my site.

  7. Anonymous

    Gret post and i have another question

    How can i do to remove dynamics urls?

  8. rickdej

    Fisher, I suggest reading the post I linked to in Deb's reply. It demonstrates how to use wildcards. If you need more help, post on the forums and I will respond.

    ~B

  9. Anonymous

    Magesh,

    nofollow works great when you don't want us to follow a link on your page. Noindex means not to index the current page.

    to recap:

    you don't want us to crawl example.com/nocrawl.html

    all links pointing to that page would benifit from the nofollow tag. The page itself should be blocked using noindex tag or block it in your robots.txt file.

    Cheers!

    ~B

  10. Quality Directory

    I think it would be better to deny URL removal, if the web page is still available and its index is not blocked in robots.txt.

  11. jackin

    First of all thanks for nice post but i have one query, like i have comment option on my site now i want to put no follow on comment section but page should be index and comment also should be index, then how to do?

  12. rickdej

    Jackin,

    Not sure I'm following this.

    "i have comment option on my site now i want to put no follow on comment section but page should be index and comment also should be index, then how to do?"

    If you want comments indexed and page indexed, why put a tag at all? Are you thinking of putting tags around links in the comments section to control spam?

  13. Anonymous

    I submitted a request for a cached page to be removed over 72 hours ago and was contacted by Bing/Microsft support support and told it would be removed in 48, but it still hasn't been. What gives?

  14. ismnet1

    i submitted 2005 url in site but i get error in site map please help me how to solve it.

  15. Anonymous

    Is the content removal form down?

  16. luke.sarker

    Using same form Link Submission Can be made.

  17. Anonymous

    How do I remove My personal info from bing search results. In Google you can stop a search on your info by telling google to remove it.  I see everwhere on bing to "not post persnal info"  I don't need to someone can seach on my phone number and get my address, my spouse, and a photo of my house.  I don't know what else I could post if someone wanted to find me.  How do I remove "ME" from bing

  18. mattrobo

    MSN bot v1.1 is now paying alot of attention to my site but for some reason it is solely targeting all my pages with the meta tag as

    <meta name="robots" content="noindex,nofollow,noarchive"

    Google and others dont do this and from some other forums there is still a bug with v 2.x? with MSN Bot.

    Is this is a known issue? How can I stop it when I cant put it in the robots.txt file?

    Are othjer people having problems with MSN bot going for noindex stuff?

  19. Anonymous

    i submitted 4500 url in site but i get error in site map please help me how to solve it.

  20. bananaheads

    Go to my website its awesome!

  21. miles2go

    Thanks after they decrease the PR and high rank in search engines.

  22. Anonymous

    The removal request process does not work and MS support does not respond to further requests. We submitted a removal request and received this response on Aug. 18

    "We have performed the content/cached page removal in ID 279191. These changes will be reflected after 5 business days."

    The cached page is still available on Bing more than 12 days after your response.

  23. Anonymous

    except Bing never found it in the first place.

    Even after I told it repeatedly where it was months ago, provided sitemap blah blah…

    My site's only been on the net for 5 years or so.

    Bing has no one to contact except a bunch of yobo's who send kiddy like replies.

    Bings group of so called helpers are lucky to have 5 months of internet experience from what email I have received from them.

    Bing will be dead soon enough…

  24. Anonymous

    Google allow you to remove a URL from their index without blocking all other search engines with a robots.txt file.  They are so far ahead of microsoft…

  25. vietSEO

    Can we remove URLs from Webmaster Pannel ?

  26. Anonymous

    I am by no means a skilled webmaster so I don't know what "404 the page" means. However, my company has been in contact with bing.com about removing sensitive information and that information has still not been removed, although we received notification on 10/1 that it may take up to 48 hours. I thought I could learn how to remove the cached version myself from this blog but this is beyond me.

  27. Anonymous

    I want to delete my old website that it not online anymore but this information is not telling me how to remove the old url from bing search engine. i cancel the web and i dont have access to that web anymore. how can i remove that url from bing?  please someone help me.

  28. spyresearch

    Why should anyone be forced to submit a ticket for someone to read and (do what> decide?) for something as simple as removing a URL; when a removal function could and definitely should be in the webmaster tools? Why bing would want an old and no longer available / none existent URL in your search engine is beyond me. I have had several 404'd and even put a 410  in place for many, that was better than 6 months ago and they are still in there????? I am pretty sure at least afew have been in there for over a year and I have even removed the server for a couple of sub-domains (still in there) what gives?  I keep thinking someone will get a clue and fix this. And yes it is that important not to have to go through congress just to get URL removed. I'll draw you a picture here.

    — webmaster tools —

    oldurl.com/pagedonegone.html "<–old URL" click here to Delete URL"

    click! Thank you kind Webmaster for helping keep the bing search engine clean and junk free. Have a nice day now ya hear?

  29. donlive

    Does anyone know if Bing actually provides a TOOL for removal, like Google and Yahoo? Bing doesn't remove all cached entries based on robots.txt changes.  That's why a tool like this is so vital for webmasters.  Anyone found an actual Bing Url Removal tool in the Webmaster Tool section?

  30. Anonymous

    Does anyone know how to remove an article from bing? The content is not owned by me, however, I have recieved a court order to get it removed. How do I contact this so called bing? What is thier address? Phone? etc…I sent the court order to google yahoo etc…but struggling trying to find where to send the order to with bing

  31. rickdej

    jon,

    Go to the Webmaster Center Crawling/Indexing Discussion forum (http://www.bing.com/…/12252.aspx) and post a detailed request for assistance there. The forum moderator will respond to your request.

    Rick

  32. yarrowr

    I am having serious issues w/ a cached Bing page.

    need actual Bing removal tool, how to find Bing, call or email them?

  33. samtha

    Hi Brett Yount,

    You have really imparted useful tips/ knowledge and i am little curious to know more about it……

  34. alandorie1

    OK I have read all the post but I still do not know how to remove my old website. Help!

  35. gardnl8d

    Bing has set itself as the default browser on my computer, and I cannot remove it.  

    I did ot request this.

    I do not want this.

    This is a direct invasion of my right to privacy.  

    I want concise and detailed instructions from Windows/Microsoft/Bing on how to delete Bing from my computer.  

    I will file a class action lawsuit if I do not receive instructions on how to remove this INVASIVE, INSIDIOUS horror of a search engine within 10 business days.

    Consider yourself served.

    Sharon O. Nuckles  GARDNL8D@YAHOO.COM

    cc via United Stated Post Office:

    Barrack Obama, President, The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20500

    Office of the Attorney General, Consumer Protection Division, P. O. Box, 12548, Austin, TX 78711-2548

  36. CoyCoy

    Hi, we have redeveloped our website from scratch. I 404'd all the pages which don’t exist in the current version of app. But there are some controllers names (as in MVC) coinciding with that of old app, and that pages are indexed by Bing. Also, those are restricted in the current version as an admin cpanel. [I WANT TO REMOVE SUCH PAGES FROM BING INDEX] So if I search it on Bing and try to navigate to those aforementioned pages, it asks for credentials and through 401 in case cancel. My question it would such pages be considered as 401 (curious because network monitor shows 401 after I press cancel manually, not sure how crawler would perceive it). Secondly, Google's crawler doesn't intercept 401 pages, how about Bing?

    Thanks in anticipation

    Incidentally, I would like to suggest something that might simplify the perplexities on both, yours’ and clients’, side.  Google has implemented this in their webmaster toolkit (www.google.com/webmasters/tools/removals). After verification, it just took few hours before my pages were erased from their index! Simply place a URL to remove with reason and they entertain your request.

    Final words…

    I believe, MS can bring about versatility in the webmasters toolkil. Like a diagram, as in MS-VISO, for site map creation, this would get auto-generated when user presses “Inspect My Site” button. After that, user can add/edit/drop links anytime and commit and Bing crawler quickly render those sitemaps as compared to those sites which don't have sitemaps submitted to Bing. That would be really great if it happens in 2011   : – )

  37. abhi_h2

    ok good stuff but what about already indexed pages

  38. old.cars

    Go to webmaster tools, select site you want removed from Bing index, select the index tab on the site page, in the index on the left click on "block urls", next click the tab "block url and cache", select entire site and submit.

  39. crozzzlinx

    how fast the bot bing recrawl case update on a post / url?

  40. Jason Askinas

    Why do I have to be the site owner to have a page updated? There is a page out there harming me. I contacted the webmaster and they've updated the page. Yet, bing still lists the web page indexed with my name. I'm not the owner of the webpage. bing process does not re-crawl the page. Bing provides no tools to have a page removed based on the keywords that no longer exists. Very primitive and harming to the people. No wonder google is a winner. They start with respecting other human beings. MS does not have that concept. Money is all you care and you will not get it with this attitude.

  41. sangpenguasa

    for @ismnet1 : if U was take This MEta TAG. . .. you can Just DEL that SITEMAPs containing ERROR. . . with New Sitemaps .. .  Other Ways ..  ReSUBMIT Ur Blog / Sitemaps

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