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Posted By:  IToris Inc on 12/28/2017 in SEO

How to Change the Visibility of Your Site in Google Search Results

How to Change the Visibility of Your Site in Google Search Results

In this article, we are going to discuss the issue of hiding some of the web pages of your site that you don’t want to be indexed by Google. The reasons why webmasters sometimes decide to make this decision may include the existence of duplicate content, private information about their customers and newer pages which are still being developed.

If you have a brand new website or any content that you don’t want Google to crawl, how do you go about masking those elements? This step-by-step guide will consider two situations. One is about hiding content which is not yet published, and the other is deindexing pages which are already on the Internet.

How to Make Your Web Pages Invisible to Google

Before Making Web Pages Public

When you create a new web page that you don’t want Google to crawl, it is best to indicate that right from the very beginning.

If you are familiar with HTML code, the actual process can be performed by redirecting its links to another page that has already been hidden from search engines with the robots.txt file. This method will help you have more control over what type of content is going to be indexed by search bots -- and also prevent indexing of pages you specify for any reason. One additional thing to note here is that with robots.txt you may also choose to block bots from one particular page, an entire web directory, or only a single image or file.

But if you don’t want to dig deeper into such technical stuff, consider adding a rel=”noindex” attribute to the <a> anchor tag within your page’s HTML code. If you are using one of the popular types of content management systems (CMS), the whole process will just be about copying your code and pasting it into the different pages of the website.

An alternative solution to accomplish the same task is to take advantage of the different CMS plugins which are currently available on the net. Joomla users can have a look at Tag Meta, an extension developed by selfget.com which allows users to manage all site's meta information with the highest efficiency and minimal fuss. Wordpress customers may also consider robots-meta, an extension offering a simple-to-use menu for choosing the desired tags for a particular page. Simply mark your page with either an index or non-index attribute and you will be good to go.

After Making Web Pages Public

Step 1. Get Familiar With Google Search Console

This requires registering a new Google Account if you did not have one -- and verifying your resource by going through all the steps listed on the setup page. The actual site verification involves inserting a specific JS code within the <head> section of your page, right before the opening <body> tag. 

Picture 1. Setup menu with an example of the verification code

Picture 2. Example of the Google Verification code inserted within the <head> section of the page

Step 2. Navigate to the Section Named “Remove URLs”

Picture 3. The “Remove URLs” subsection


The "Remove URLs" section is located inside the “Google Index “ category, accessible from the left-side menu.


Step 3 (a) To remove a page temporarily:

  1. Hit the “Temporarily hide” button;

  2. Enter an address of the page you don’t want Google to index;

  3. Hit the  “Сontinue” button;

  4. Choose the desired Request Type and click the “Submit Request" button.

Step 3 (b) If you want to hide a certain page permanently, consider:

  • Masking URLs by password-protecting your server directories;

  • Using Google’s URL removal tool;

  • Putting links to pages in JavaScript or Flash;

  • Placing content behind forms;

  • Choosing not to display your site on Google Local and other Google products.


That’s it. The pages you will submit there should then be displayed in the “Removed URLs” column. After a certain period of time, they should also disappear from Google indexing.

Limiting Access to Your Pages in Magento

The reasons for hiding content described above can also be applicable to a Magento store. Your products may go out of stock, therefore requiring you to hide the respective product and category pages from search results. In that case, seeing a 404 Error will be the very last thing your customers would want to experience.

Hiding certain product, category or subcategory pages on a temporary basis will require a lot of time -- and an extensive amount of knowledge and programming experience. But what if you don’t have the time or experience and need to make all of the modifications as soon as possible?

The market for Magento extensions currently has some interesting Magento 2 Catalogue Permissions add-ons which will make the whole process of editing your site’s visibility both easier and more efficient. It will be possible to alter the visibility of product and category pages either separately or altogether -- and perform all of the required changes to your website both quickly and easily.

Magento 2 Catalogue Permissions Extension

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