Removing a page of your site from Google’s cache

So if you’ve been following this blog at all, you’ll know that I have spent the last few weeks implementing the new Asual S.E.O. method with SWFAddress 2.4 on my portfolio site. This method has been largely successful, and I’ve been supplementing it with Google’s Webmasters Tools which I have largely found very helpful.

They offer numerous tools for submitting information (e.g. a “sitemap.xml” file to assist them with crawling your site), controlling crawl frequency, and even “labs” (beta tools), my favorite of which allows you to fetch any “page” in your site as if you were a Google ‘bot and view the result. They also offer recommendations on the HTML their ‘bot retrieves when indexing your site. This is all well and good…in fact it let me to find a slight flaw (or oversight) in Asual’s implementation of the dynamic content replacement that allows you to S.E.O. your Flash site: while the content and page title update, the page description stays the same.

This doesn’t pose too big of an issue, and I fixed it in about a day by simply implementing the same sort of PHP logic that swaps out content based on what section you’re viewing. The issue I’m currently dealing with is that Google now has cached all the pages on my site with their unchanged descriptions.

Now in addition to adding the logic that swaps out my descriptive meta tag, I also have added the “noarchive” argument to my robots meta tag, which will prevent Google from caching any pages in the future, however I now have to wait for Google’s cached version of my site to expire in order for users searching for my site to get the advantage of my new descriptions.

So I decided to explore the ability to request a page to be removed from Google’s cache, searched for it, and found that by going to the “Crawler Access” panel and clicking on the “Remove URL” tab (which is actually pretty easy to miss in the UI), there is an option to request the removal of a page from the CACHE ONLY. Cool. So that’s what I’m doing as we speak, and I’ll follow up when the removals go through and the site has been re-indexed as to whether my strategy worked!

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