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Google -- Webmaster Tools

Posted on 2011-10-21
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I have a question about removing sites/web pages being picked up by search engines such as Google or Yahoo.

Background:
For a number of years, I had my website hosted by Verizon.   Unfortunately, Verizon disallowed FTP capability to upload files to their server in August 2011.   According to their customer service department, all customers were informed about the FTP access shutdown (prior to shutdown).   Well, I never received such email (or maybe I missed it in my spam).   [In such case, I would have removed all pages from their server completely.]

Either way, I'm now hosting my website with GoDaddy.com.   Still, depending on search keywords, my site (with out-of-date content) comes up under the Verizon domain.  

I spoke to their tech support (outsourced to India) SEVERAL times.   I've asked to have the site under Verizon completely deleted. For some strange reason, they don't seem to understand the underlying problem; therefore, after 2 months now, the old site is still very much active.

Now, using the Google Webmasters' URL Removal Tool, I requested to have every page being removed/blocked.   Afterwards, however, I noticed Google's requirements for removing/blocking content.   It indicates the following:

"To remove a page or image, you must do one of the following:
Make sure the content is no longer live on the web. Requests for the page must return an HTTP - 404 (not found) or 410 status code.
- Block the content using a robots.txt file.
- Block the content using a meta noindex tag."

My question:
At this time, I'm running out of ideas to not have old pages show up in any search engine.  Given that Verizon's tech support probably will not delete my site/pages from their server -- and Google probably will not approve my request to block sites -- is there any other option someone could recommend for NOT having my old (out-of-date) pages show up in a search engine?

Thanks,
EEH


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Question by:ExpExchHelp
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sjklein42 earned 1000 total points
ID: 37009714
I think that the crux of the problem is that Verizon still has a DNS entry for your web site, so anyone going in through Verizon (and using, by default, Verizon's DNS servers) will see your old web site.

Even though your "whois" record may show GoDaddy's DNS server as the Domain Server, if a user is connected to the Internet via Verizon, they will likely be using Verizon's DNS server, which still has your old, obsolete DNS records.

The only solution I know of for this situation is to get Verizon to remove the DNS records for your domain from their DNS servers.

You can check this theory from a machine attached to the Internet via Verizon, by using this command to see what the Verizon DNS servers are returning for your domain.  Check that you get back the GoDaddy IP address and not the Verizon IP Web Server address.  If not, then Verizon users are getting the wrong IP address for your domain.

NSLOOKUP MYDOMAIN.COM NS1.VERIZON.NET

You should also verify that your WHOIS record is properly showing GoDaddy as the Domain Server for your site.
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by:Papertrip
Papertrip earned 1000 total points
ID: 37009814
While the last answer is kind of on track, I'd like to expand on it.

Regardless if Verizon used to manage DNS for your domain or not, if you have since changed the nameservers for your domain at the registrar to point elsewhere, then Google is not going to see the old record.

Make sure the content is no longer live on the web. Requests for the page must return an HTTP - 404 (not found) or 410 status code.
This can be achieved a couple different ways -- make sure the whois for your domain is not pointing to Verizon as sjklein42 said and make sure DNS for your website is pointing to the new IPs, and/or ask Verizon to just completely remove your old content
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by:ExpExchHelp
ID: 37009856
Thanks for the feedback...

sjklein42:

I've typed in the command into the URL... it produced the following feedback (see attachment).   And, yes, I ensured that I updated my WHOIS record with GoDaddy.

What does the result of the test NSLOOKUP [replaced with MYDOMAIN.COM] NS1.VERIZON.NET tell you?


Papertrip:

"if you have since changed the nameservers for your domain at the registrar to point elsewhere, then Google is not going to see the old record."

Well, doing a Google search, most of the time, I do see the pages hosted by GoDaddy.com.  However, depending on keywords, I still can find the obsolete pages within the 1st five search records.

Yes, I'd really like Verizon to remove the old sites.   However, having called their tech support at least five (5) times I always get the same >> BS << answer.   Which is... they're looking into it.  

Any additional ideas?

Thanks,
EEH


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Expert Comment

by:Papertrip
ID: 37009862
I can't think of anything else... the "real" solution to this is removing the content so that all of the results that show the old site will return 404's in the Webmaster tool.  Just gotta keep bugging Verizon.

An unfortunate situation indeed.
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Author Comment

by:ExpExchHelp
ID: 37010919
Again, thanks for the help.

Quick update -- to my surprise, Google has accepted the request to remove all 18 pages.   Given the stated requirements (i.e, sites must be inactive), I didn't expect it.   But I'm thrilled about this outcome.

I presume it'll take a few days/weeks before any/all of the pages are removed for search engines.  Is that a good assumption?

Thanks,
EEH
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