Q: I think my website was hit by the Google Panda update because of low quality articles we had. How can I remove the URLs from a search engine index?
First of all you can use the Noindex Metatag, which is understood by most search engines. To implement it, place the following code on the page you want to remove:
<META NAME=”ROBOTS” CONTENT=”NOINDEX, NOFOLLOW”>
The Noindex Metatag prevents the page from being indexed. The page itself will still be crawled, though the search engines may visit it less often over time.
The following method of removing a web page may be better from the SEO point of view:
If you do not specify “nofollow” with this tag, then the page will still pass PageRank to other pages both on and off your site (i.e. use <META NAME=”ROBOTS” CONTENT=”NOINDEX”>).
You can also use the URL removal tools, that are provided by search engines themselves (Google and Bing). However, you should be very careful with these tools, because doing this incorrectly can take your entire site out of the index for extended periods of time.