Current situation

Our previous website was built to be embedded in Joomla, stuff like "About" were Joomla content, but the main page was custom PHP.

Now that we moved to a complete custom implementation I need to update the SEO stuff which was previously done by Joomla. I added the basic meta tags (robots, siteinfo, revisit-after, author, page-topic, description), a robots.txt and a sitemap (which I created after the Joomla one):

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<urlset xmlns="http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9">






What I want

I'd like to display the pages given in the sitemap to be displayed just like when you search for Google:

Result when googling Google

What I get

Google still displays the old Joomla links:

Result when googling the company


How would I achieve this? I added both my sitemap and robots to the Google Webmaster Tools and temporarily removed some Joomla links. Is there a way to completely purge everything that was already indexed about a page (I know that this sounds like a bad idea from the Google side, but I just don't see any other way to reset the current data)?


One, two or even a few months sometimes isn't enough time for Google to update its index with changes in a website and start displaying results in the way the website owner is desiring. And it's not only time what is needed, but thorough SEO work in all aspects.

Now, regarding Google showing main links pages for a certain website like in your screenshot, it is Google that will decide when to show this and on what kind of search. Website owners have less control of what links Google will decide to display there, but they can tell Google to remove certain links, if they don't want them to appear using Google's Webmasters Tools.

  • Thanks, I think that it may change over time. By now I also think that because the company's name is a commonly used word, it may affect the appearance too. Marking this as the accepted answer as it concludes that the user doesn't have enough control over Google SEO as probably possible. – michaeln Jun 22 '16 at 9:16
  • @michaeln: Hello michaeln, Actually I didn't want to underline that much that the user doesn't have enough control, rather that it takes much and thorough work in order to achieve desired results. Also regarding this particular presentation of a site's main link, google will display it depending on the certain keywords of a search and not with any kind of search and usually when a site has gained some value. – FFrewin Jun 22 '16 at 9:23

As per https://stackoverflow.com/a/15278642/1983389 it is probably better to submit a re-crawl request than trying to purge the existing data:

  1. Go to: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/ and log in
  2. If you haven't already, add and verify the site with the "Add a Site" button
  3. Click on the site name for the one you want to manage
  4. Click Crawl -> Fetch as Google
  5. Optional: if you want to do a specific page only, type in the URL
  6. Click Fetch
  7. Click Submit to Index
  8. Select either "URL" or "URL and its direct links"
  9. Click OK and you're done.

It may take a few days before the request is completed.

  • 1
    Thank you for your answer, I retriggered it now. The strange thing is, that I already did this on all new pages (in fact it's only 6 pages which should be indexed as the others contain person specific details which shouldn't be available for search) about a week ago and still didn't get something similar to the screenshots in my first post. Let's see if it'll change over time. – michaeln Apr 21 '16 at 20:13

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