What Is De-Indexing?

Aaron Haynes
Nov 11, 2021

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The results we see in search engines, such as Google search and Bing, are websites and web pages indexed in Google search console’s archives. Indexing is what a search engine does to organize website information to provide answers to queries within milliseconds.

But what is the opposite of indexing?


This article looks at what de-indexing is, how you can de-index your site, and how you can prevent Google from indexing your site.

What is De-Indexing?

De-indexing is the process of removing pages from a search engine’s index. It can happen when you update your website or misconfigure your web server, which causes the search engine to remove content without warning.

While this may be an inconvenience in some cases, it doesn’t mean your website is down permanently. Google and other search engines might de-index content that is duplicated, plagarized, doesn’t appear legitimate or with authority, or simply by mistake.

But what does de-indexing imply for SEO? For starters, there are no consequences when submitting a reconsideration request to Google Webmasters Tools for help in re-indexing pages that were removed by mistake. However, this process takes about 60 days, and during the interim, any manual work performed on-site with regards to crawling or indexing will not be seen in search results.

Why is De-Indexing Important?

Search engines and Google search results are constantly crawling the web and identifying websites that are using duplicate or irrelevant content. When the algorithms identify these types of sites, they will often remove the pages from the index and assign a noindex value to the webpage.

This process is called de-indexing because it removes your site from its index to discourage other web spamming techniques.

Website owners should be aware that there are times when legitimate sites get accidentally de-indexed – but this is becoming less common with the continual development of software that helps keep duplicate content out of search engine indexes.

Knowing how to identify if you’ve been de-indexed is essential. Signs vary, but some common ones are:

  • Fewer searches on search engines for your content
  • Falling traffic from search engines
  • Decrease in website referrals
  • Losing rankings on Google
  • Traffic drop across the board

If you want to keep your website from being de-indexed, you should do an audit and take measures to ensure that no duplicate or irrelevant content is present. This will help keep Google from removing it and keeping your site in its index.

Be sure to check your site frequently and always be sure that you’re using the latest version of HTML and CSS coding standards to ensure you’re not breaking any rules. Also, consider upgrading hosting services, which will increase the chances of keeping your contents indexed. Technical SEO tools can also ensure you’re doing everything you need to.

De-indexing FAQ

How do I Deindex a website?

One way to tell if your having an indexing issue is by checking Google Webmaster Tools. If you identify that your website has been deleted from Google, you can submit a reconsideration request to get it back in the index.

If you’re concerned about the content on your site and want to keep it indexed, try re-writing content and structural issues with SEO tools such as SEO Elite and 301 Migrate. These programs not only allow you to analyze and change your content quickly, but they can also help you build a quality backlinks profile so that Google notices the changes and re-indexes the pages.

How do I Deindex content?

There are instances where you might want to de-index your own content, such as during optimization. For example, if you are shopping around for hosting services and want to make sure content is removed from servers, you can do this by editing the .htaccess file on your server. This method works best when using Apache or other methods of server management because it allows sites to be taken down quickly.

How do you check if a page is Deindexed?

If you’re not sure if your website or a particular page is de-indexed, you can check Google Webmaster tools for this information. The site contains other resources designed to help you fix content errors and understand how search engines work.

Be aware that Google Webmaster Tools allows users to see this information but it does not allow users to submit reconsideration requests on their own. This means that you must sign up for the program if you want to be able submit a request for reindexing your pages. Once you are logged in, visit the ‘Crawled Errors’ section where you’ll be able to see any problems with your website and how long it’s been removed from the index.

How can I keep Google from indexing my website?

While there’s no way to guarantee that Google won’t index your website, there are some things you can do to prevent it from happening. For example, you can set up a robots.txt file that will prevent your pages from being indexed by typing the code into the direct root folder of your site. This is a simple text file that has been used for many years and allows you to control how search engines interact with your site. More specifically, this type of file tells Google not to index specific pages or folders on your website and it should be updated regularly because search engines constantly update their algorithms and may remove certain files from their servers without warning.

Don’t forget: check out the other definitions (over 200) in our growing SEO glossary.


Hopefully, this article has given you a better understanding of de-indexing in relation to Google and SEO.

In most cases, webmasters will be trying to prevent de-indexing from happening, but others might also try to de-index their site. Please don’t hesitate to look at our SEO packages or contact us for more information for further assistance with this.

Hand off the toughest tasks in SEO, PPC, and content without compromising quality

Explore Services

Written by Aaron Haynes on November 11, 2021

CEO and partner at Loganix, I believe in taking what you do best and sharing it with the world in the most transparent and powerful way possible. If I am not running the business, I am neck deep in client SEO.