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The Google Webmaster Tools Remove URL section allows you to specify a page URL to be removed from the index, or cache, or both.

However, I want to remove just the home page, which is /

I want to remove it from the cache because it is indexed when the "under construction" page was up.

This URL is not recognised by the Remove URL section as an individual page. Instead Google assumes you want to remove the entire website from the index.

I've specified /index.php and /index.html to be removed from the cache, but this is not the URL listed in the search results for the home page I want removed from the cache.

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

Short Answer: you can't.

Long Answer: Google have a set of requirements for the page to be manually flushed from the index or cache, with one of them being that the page must return a 404 (if it needs to be removed from the index). If you want the cache updated, then that is normally part of the discover/crawl/index/rank process, and you'd be best to use XML Sitemap to trigger a new crawl.

There might be one last method to try (which I can't on your behalf since I don't have access to your WMT): http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=63758

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The 404 isn't needed according to Google as of 2015. Besides having to first sign up for a Google account and validate the page, support.google.com/websearch/troubleshooter/… says "You can block pages from showing in Google Search results in a few ways: robots.txt files, meta tags, password-protection of web server files" Of course, the help page may be outdated or just wrong, if it's not just unhelpful. And now it appears entering the home page URL under "Remove URLs" is different from a blank entry which means remove site. – Cedric Knight Jun 12 '15 at 21:34

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