My client used a third-party company that used duplicate link exchanges on their website previously.

When my client gave their website to me to maintain it, I developed a different website that doesn't use link exchanges, and actually doesn't contain any duplicate content.

Although the website has changed, the duplicate content is still indexed by search engines. I checked this with Google using:


and the results were:


...until page 5 on Google, and with same meta description and meta title. It's very bad because when I search for example (the name of website, not using a keyword), not one of the results is www.example.com.

I think the source of the problem is that Google still has the duplicate content indexed used by the website previously. Is there any method/way to delete this, or get Google to index the new site?

  • If I understand, and edited the question correctly, links are still indexed to content that no longer is available on your site? If so, make sure a 410 Gone status code is being returned by your server for these pages to let the search engines know to remove them. Then build a new sitemap, submit it to Google, and use the Fetch as Google tool. Then start building quality backlinks to your site to help regain your position (as well as adding great content there...).
    – dan
    Feb 1, 2014 at 23:40

2 Answers 2


To remove content from Google you should use robots.txt or a noindex meta tag in the old site.

To redirect pages from the old site to the new site you should use a 301 redirect.

If you use the robots.txt or the noindex tag solutions, the changes will not be immediate. However if you use a redirect the user will be immediately redirected to the new site.

If the domain of the new site is the same you can still remove content from Google index by carefully building a specific robots.txt file that only removes the content you don't want.

  • Osvaldo : no i wouldn't to redirect because I already delete all old website page and use new website. But SE still indexing the duplicate content/links such us : links_1 ..... links_99 ... whoaaa its crazy that you imagine the page on google fully from links 1 until 99 and its duplicate all content including title and description. How to remove the cache/index SE? Any win win solution for me because my web rank very down!
    – john
    Feb 1, 2014 at 18:31
  • 1
    Another idea would be to introduce canonical links on the new content, aswel as http 410 response also you can also use the webmaster fetch as google to try and request google to re-spider the pages requested Feb 2, 2014 at 1:39

Are you sure accessing those removed links returns a 404 status? Search engines should be smart enough to get the message...

Did you published an updated sitemap? That's a long shoot but if one has been submitted with a changefreq value of "never" for some pages, it may take some time before Google try to reindex them.

If we're not talking about thousands of pages, I would recommend you recreate them so they return a permanent redirection code.

In the short term, that will allow people using Google to actually find your content, and it will definitely help search engines to update their data.

I would also resubmit a sitemap and ensure the canonical URL is embedded in those pages.

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