Right now I'm facing issues with 404 (Not Found) errors, because my content will deleted automatically after two months. I cannot change this behavior, because it is a real estate web site and once it is rented or sold it needs to be deleted and also so many factors behind this.

So I want to tell search engines about the availability of my contents and don't return a 404 error.


1 Answer 1


There is a meta tag called unavailable_after, which will allow you to tell Google that a page should expire from the search results at a specific date and time.


<META NAME="GOOGLEBOT" CONTENT="unavailable_after: 25-Aug-2007 15:00:00 EST">

The tag should be added within the section of the pages source code.

This information is treated as a removal request: it will take about a day after the removal date passes for the page to disappear from the search results. Google currently only support unavailable_after for web search results.

You can see a recent video where Google's head of webspam, Matt Cutts, suggests using this on ecommerce sites that have many pages that will often only last a few days.

(Skip to 2.20 for this advice)

  • Mak please help me, what is the difference between expire tag and unavailable_after tag ? see the expire tag eg.-> <meta http-equiv="Expires" content="Tue, May 06 14 06:10:54 AM GMT">
    – Bala
    Commented May 6, 2014 at 6:31
  • I think the expires tag is to stop web browsers caching pages after a certain date, so the page reloads from the server. I don't know if any browsers actually support this tag though? Google doesn't use this tag as far as I know. Further reading:htmlgoodies.com/beyond/reference/article.php/3472881 and webdesign.about.com/od/caching/a/control_cache.htm
    – Max
    Commented May 6, 2014 at 7:21
  • Max thanks for the reply and I raised the question regarding unavailable_after tag webmasters.stackexchange.com/questions/61423/… if you can please answer it! once again thanks!
    – Bala
    Commented May 6, 2014 at 7:46
  • I'm using this tag in my website, but Google not considering this tag, meaning it still showing in the SERP page(result page) and users hit Access denied(I configured to unpublish the page) in my website. please tell me will this tag is active in Google ? or can I do this in any other way(alternative) ?
    – Bala
    Commented Jun 3, 2014 at 7:53

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