Monthly Archives: May 2007

Removing Indexed Content From Google The Easy Way

Google are constantly improving their services and during April they updated their Google Webmasters Tools; this release relates to removing content that has already been indexed by Google.

Google have supported removing content from their service for a long time, however the process was often slow to take. With the recent addition of the URL removal into Google Webmasters Tools, its now possible to process the removal of a page quite quickly.

As with everything associated to Google Webmaster Tools, the web site to act on first needs to be verified. Once verified, there is now a URL Removals link under the Diagnostics tab. The removal service supports removing URL’s in the following ways:

  • individual web pages, images or other files
  • a complete directory
  • a complete web site
  • cached copies of a web site

To remove an individual web page, image or file – the URL must:

  • return a standard HTTP 404 (missing) or 410 (gone) response code
  • be blocked by the robots.txt file
  • be blocked by a robots tag

Removing a directory has less options available, it must be blocked using the robots.txt file. Submitting would remove all objects which reside under that folder including all web pages, images, documents and files.

To remove an entire domain from the Google index, you need to block it using a robots.txt file and submit the expedited removal request. Google have once more reinforced the point that this option should not be used to remove the wrong ‘version’ of your site from the index, such as a www versus non-www version. To handle this, nominate the preferred domain within the Google Webmaster Tools and optionally redirect the wrong version to the correct version using a standard HTTP 301 redirect.

Cached copies of web pages can be removed by setting the <meta> robots attribute with a noindex on the given page(s) and submitting the removal request. By using this mechanism, Google will never re-include that URL so long as the robots noindex <meta> data is present. By removing the robots noindex <meta> data, you are instructing Google to re-include that URL, so long as it isn’t being block by alternate means such as a robots.txt file. If the intention is to simply refresh a given set of web pages, you can also change the content on those pages and submit the URL removal request. Google will fetch a fresh copy of the URLs, compare them against their cached copies and if they are different immediately removed the cached copy.

After submitting requests, it’s possible to view the status of the request. They will list as pending until they have been processed, denied if the page does not meet the removal criteria and once processed they will be moved into the ‘Removed Content’ tab. Of course, you can re-include a removed page at any time as well. It should be noted that if you remove a page and don’t manually re-include the web page(s) after exclusion, the removed page(s) will remain excluded for approximately 6 months – after which they will be automatically re-included.

Being able to remove content from the Google index so quickly is going to come in handy when certain types of content are indexed by accident and need to be removed with priority.

Bad Kitty

Today, Claire purchased the a pack of Spacebags – the vacuum able plastic storage bags. After giving them a good run with some of our infrequently used items, Claire was nothing but impressed and wanted to show me them immediately.

We walked into the spare room and Claire was shocked that the bags were no longer collapsed and thought that she must not have sealed them correctly. Upon closer inspection, it was revealed that Princess decided that this new contraption needed to pass the claw test.

You guessed it:

Kitty 1, Spacebags 0

Naughty kitty, naughty.

Deafening Silence

For quite some time now, one of our cars has had an annoying drumming sound coming from the back of it. We’ve had it serviced two or three times since the noise started happening and I’ve asked the mechanics to track it down and each time they’ve come up empty.

At one of the first services after the noise started, I suggested to one of the mechanics that it might have been a faulty tyre. At the time, The mechanics said that was very unlikely and I agreed but pointed out that one of my older brothers has had it happen to him; so it might have been worth a look. They looked over all of the tyres and didn’t see anything wrong and the wheels have been rotated and balanced numerous times without it being picked up as well.

Since the noise started, Claire and I have put around 40,000Km onto her car and the rear tyres have worn sufficiently to warrant replacing them without doing it prematurely. After having a new pair of Yokohama tyres fitted today, I was pleased to find that the drumming noise we’d become so accustomed is now gone.

It was so unfamiliar to drive the Mazda today without the noise. I couldn’t stop commenting to Claire today while driving around how strange and fantastic it was to have the noise gone; feels like we’ve got a new car again!

Bridging The Gap

The new squash season has started at the Robina Squash Club and I’ve already made pretty reasonable headway into improving my game. After losing every encounter I had with Steve last season, I put together a short list of improvements that I needed to make to my game:

  • Vary the pace of the ball more
  • Change the length of my shots
  • Boast the ball more
  • Develop a slice backhand

This week was my first encounter with Steve since last season and after trying to implement each of those points, it made a huge difference to the score:

  1. 15 – 10
  2. 13 – 15
  3. 9 – 15
  4. 12 – 15

it might seem like there is a lot of losing in there, however the games were very competitive and this was the first time I really had Steve working hard on the court.

To vary the hitting pace, I selectively chose the loose ball and drove my forehand hard and low. The significant change in pace, coupled with the low ball means that it doesn’t bounce much and it comes onto your opponent much faster – that worked really well. As a by product of changing the pace of the ball, I was able to comfortable change the length as well, which made Steve have to move a lot on the court. Unfortunately, I only found one or two opportunities to boast the ball; fortunately one of them was a high ball! The slice backhand worked really well, however I persisted with attempting a slicing drop shot off the serve and dropped four consecutive balls into the tin during game three. Although I lost the points, it was quite valuable as I now know that with further practice I’ll be able to hit that shot during the game as they only just missed.

The next couple points which I’m going to add to my list are:

  • Run run run, just like tennis is a pressure thing. When I hit a loose ball, I often don’t chase it down as I think to myself I don’t deserve to return it was I should have played a better stroke. That isn’t the right attitude on a squash court at all, so from now on I’m going to consider it penance to chase down the stray balls.
  • Know your opponent. When I was playing casual squash with a couple of mates, it was very easy for me to keep an eye on where they were on the court and hit the ball appropriately. Since starting fixtures, I haven’t been doing that as much and I know I’m making poor shot choices as a side effect.
  • Ball placement strategy. I want to work on a hitting strategy, such that I’m forcing my opponent into hitting a particular type of ball into a particular region of the court – as the only ‘reasonable’ shot left to make. If I can force my opponent into hitting particular shots, it increases my ability to play to my strengths on the court.

If you’re interested in joining the club for some fun and fitness, you can contact:

Robina Squash Club
University Drive
Robina QLD, 4226
0427 627 229


Tonight while doing some work, the kitty decided it was a perfect time to play with one of her toys. Unfortunately, while she was fetching her toy from behind the computer – she bumped the video card cable and my computer shutdown unexpectedly.

To get my computer to start again, I needed to take the side panel off of my Lian Li case, re-seat the video card and tighten the thumbscrew. As I was restoring things to their rightful positions, I realised a shocking fact:

I haven’t taken the side panel off my computer in nearly two years!

With such a traumatic event taking place, I think I need to go and buy some computer hardware on the principle of it.