Due to a recent malware infection one of my sites has a ton of pages (thousands) that begin with https://www.example.com/recollection.php

Some examples:


Now I want all these pages to be removed from the index. So I went to "Removals" in the Google Search Console and ordered to remove all pages that start with https://www.example.com/recollection.php. Am I doing this right? I ordered it a couple of days ago, but still nothing has happened.

Update: In case you don't know what option I mean with "remove all pages that start with"

enter image description here

All I want to know is, if I'm using this feature correctly.

  • The URL tool doesn't have a "starts with" option as far as I know. You can only remove exact URLs one at a time. The answer to Ask Google to remove thousands of pages from its index after cleaning up from hacked site has a different suggestion. Sep 23, 2022 at 14:53
  • It DOES have that option. See my update to the question. Sep 23, 2022 at 15:30
  • Do all of those URLs now return an error status (like 404 or 410)? Sep 23, 2022 at 15:34
  • Yes they do. I made them return 410 instead of 404, since in the answer you linked to it was stated, that that might speed up the process of deindexing the pages. Sep 23, 2022 at 15:38
  • The deindexing still hasn't started. However, if I look at the status it says "temporarily removed" as if it's done. But it's not, the pages are still there. I guess something wrong with my method. Sep 26, 2022 at 17:34

1 Answer 1


Removing the url from search doesn't solve anything in your case.

What you've got is called a doorway. A doorway's purpose nowadays is not to rank, but to pass as much juice as possible to a destination one way or another.

What would be better here is to disable the indexing of these pages through robots and make sure all these urls now return a 404.

Do not forget to not only remove the doorway, but also the trivial vulnerability it was injected through. It's always trivial vulnerabilities most likely fixed by updating your engine and plugins. Doorways aren't installed manually, but using large-scale automation that goes through millions of sites testing for known vulnerabilities and when found, exploit them.

The speed at which Google will start removing the pages from the index heavily depends on the popularity of the site in question as well as the types of filters Google penalized the site with for hosting a doorway.

If you want to be able to forecast when G removes the filters/refreshes the index, monitor Google bot hitting your site since after you've fixed it and correlate it with changes in the GSC data.

  • I have removed that doorway right away when I noticed it. See site is clean now. Also, since I removed all the pages from the site, all URLs return a 404 now. I actually made them return 410 now, since that's supposed to speed up the process. What is more, later on I added a rule in the robots.txt to disallow all URLs in question. You see, I already did all that and it did not help. Sep 28, 2022 at 19:06
  • In fact, since it didn't do anything after some days, I removed the robots.txt rule, because otherwise Google won't notice that those URLs return 410 now. Sep 28, 2022 at 19:09
  • Don't expect your site to be re-indexed frequently if it has low authority or has been filtered. I saw sites that took months to recover from a doorway. Depends also on how long that doorway has been there and on a multitude of other factors. If you want to keep you hand on pulse, check your access logs frequently for hits from google bot.
    – BNazaruk
    Sep 28, 2022 at 19:28
  • Only a couple of minutes after I removed the disallow from the robots.txt, the Googlebot started crawling again, judging from the access logs, so I guess that shouldn't be a problem (and it's not a small website). Sep 28, 2022 at 20:49
  • yep, especially if it crawled the 404 pages too.
    – BNazaruk
    Sep 29, 2022 at 0:26

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