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How do I ask google to purge / reindex / flush their cache of a URL I do NOT control?

I am helping out a busy, important webmaster who has corrected an error in the content in a vital PDF. I noticed that the error was still in google's cached version. I googled purge google cache. I logged into the renamed webmaster central and couldn't find a solution. I searched its help system for purge, flush, and reindex, to no avail. The documentation indicates the Request Reindexing tool had been disabled for two months and would only work for URLs at domains I do control anyway.

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  • (note: I've answered my own question and explained myself in it.) Dec 9, 2020 at 2:45
  • If you are helping the webmaster, you could have them use a tool in Google Search Console or even grant you access to Google Search Console. Dec 9, 2020 at 10:27
  • True in general. In this case, I had limited info and knew almost nothing about the webmaster, such as if they had Google Search Console set up, or their level of expertise. I was being a good Samaritan. Dec 12, 2020 at 0:21

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An answer, documented here is to use Google's "Remove Outdated Content" tool/page. To do so, it's best to go to that page to read up on what it is and isn't good for, and alternatives.

The question was:

How do I ask google to purge / reindex / flush their cache of a URL I do NOT control?

Perhaps the terms I was using to describe the problem were hampering me. I knew there was (i.e. had been) a way to do this as I recall I'd used it before and the question is certainly a FAQ but I wasn't finding an answer, though I'm sure there are many out there. Eventually I did, but I thought I'd put this Q&A here to help the next person in this position.

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