Google Search Console is the favourite tool of webmasters to control how their websites appear on Google search. The process is pretty simple and straight forward – add your website to Search Console, submit your page for indexing or use the removal tool to remove the content from Google Search. If you add a new page to the website, you can submit it to Google through the search console. When you remove a page from your website, you may wait for Google to automatically remove it or use the Search Console to request page removal.
Now, what can you do if you are not the owner of the website? How can you ask Google to remove a page from search results in that case? Or, how can you request to reindex a page which is changed?
As a digital marketing agency, we often find false information about our clients published on other websites. We can contact those websites and get them updated on their website. However, it may take several days or weeks to get the same updated on Google.
Is there a way we can contact Google and ask Google to update the third-party pages indexed in Google search results, which is already changed on the third-party website?
Yes, Google provides such an option. Even if you are not the owner of a website, you can request Google to update their cached pages, provided the content is changed or removed from the original website. you don’t have to be the owner of the website for this.
Step by step instructions to request Google to update the cache or remove pages from the index when you are not the owner of the website:
1. Go to the “Outdated content removal tool” by Google. You will be asked to log in using a Google account. Keep in mind that you don’t have to be an owner of the site on Google Search Console to do this.
2. Submit the URL of the outdated content page.
3. In the next step, you will be asked to specify a word that existed in the old version of the page but not in the new version of the page. This is how Google confirms that the page is actually changed. So, identify a specific word that existed in the previous version but not there on the webpage any more. If the page you submit does not exist on the web any more, you will not be prompted to specify this word. Instead, Google will accept your request right away and add it to its queue for removal from the index.
4. Enter the word and press “Submit requests”.
5. Scroll down to the bottom of the removal report page and you will see the list of all such pages you submitted to Google for updating the Google cache. Initially, your submitted URL will be displayed as “Pending”. It may take up to 24 hours to update the Google cache.
You can follow the same procedure to remove the images from Google search, provided the image is already removed from the web by the owner. So, the first step for you would be to contact the website owner and request to remove the images on which you have concerns. Once the website owner removes the image from their website, you can use the content removal tool and request Google to remove the image that no longer exists on the website.
The “Remove outdated content from Google Search” tool is very handy if you need to contact Google to update the search content when the original source is changed and the source of the content is not in your control. We just had such a scenario. A third-party website published the phone number of the CEO of one of our clients. He started getting numerous unwanted phone calls. We were able to contact the other website and got the phone number removed from the other website. However, they were not willing to take the efforts to use Search Console and request reindexing of the content. So, we decided to use Google’s “Remove outdated content from Google Search” tool and submitted the web page URL. It took some time for Google to update the content on search results but it worked perfectly well.