4

I have a webpage that used to contain the keyword "XYZ".

I have sinced removed the keyword, so that the entire page, including the source code, does not have the keyword "XYZ".

However, when I search on google for "XYZ", my page still appears. (This is after a few months of removing the keyword).

What I have tried:

  • changing the url "slug" of the page. I am using Wordpress, so even though the url is changed slightly, Wordpress is smart enough to direct it back to the same old page

  • using Google Webmasters to re-fetch the page

However the above two don't seem to work.

Is there any other solution to make my webpage not appear in search, other than deleting the webpage (which would be the last resort)?

Thanks for any help.

  • 1
    Can I ask, when you're searching for your website, are you logged into Google Chrome? - Google will tend to personalize your search results based on your previous search history if you're logged in, therefore it may be a case of the site still showing because you've visited it so many times. - Not saying this a solution, but perhaps search in incognito and see what results show? – Ian Lewis Oct 26 '16 at 15:50
  • @IanLewis I just tried using Safari (signed out), and the result is still there. – yoyostein Oct 26 '16 at 16:01
5

If your page is recognized as an authority on the subject of XYZ, it will rank for it, regardless of whether that keyword appears on the page.

On-Screen SEO

Is your page still “about” XYZ? If so, just removing the keyword might not have much effect.

Off-Screen SEO

On-screen optimization of keywords is only part of Google’s (or any major search engine’s) ranking algorithm.

If other websites link to yours, that “juice” will pass to the page. That might include:

  1. Links to your page that include XYZ in their anchor text.

  2. Pages about XYZ that link to your page, especially if these pages are respected.

What to do about unwanted off-screen SEO factors.

Check your backlinks, and use your judgement on which links may be driving the unwanted traffic.

  1. Disavow the links in Google Webmaster Tools.
  2. Contact the other sites, requesting they remove links to your page.
  3. Contact the other sites (where relevant) requesting they remove the problematic keyword from the anchor text of links to your page.

CAVEAT: The first two techniques above will make your page generally less attractive to Google, not just for the particular, unwanted keyword.

Removing a given page entirely from search results

In the last line of your question, you sort of veer away from “how to I reduce SEO for XYZ” and just ask how to get the particular page out of search results.

To ensure the page does not appear in any search results, you can add a no-index meta tag to the page.

2

Google's algorithm includes LSI factors. LSI stands for latent semantic indexing.

In plain English if other words on your page (synonyms for example) are contextually related to your XYZ keyword, then these will be positive ranking factors for your no longer desirable keyword.

LSI can be subtle and complex.

If, for example, your keyword were "golf equipment", then words like putter, driver, 18th hole, or tee might help the page rank.

Did you, also, alter the meta description of your page?

Lastly, why not use a 301 redirect to steer the traffic to another page?

Best of luck with this interesting and unusual problem.

-1

Try to contact Google directly in order to remove that page from SERP

  • 1
    This answer is not useful unless you give instructions for contacting Google. Perhaps you are suggesting using the URL removal request tool. However, I don't think they wan't this URL removed from Google. It sounds like they want it crawled and indexed, but not for some specific keyword. – Stephen Ostermiller Oct 27 '16 at 12:39

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