Have you ever come across a search result for your site that includes a page or post that no longer exists, then wondered how to get Google to remove the outdated content?
I'm assuming that's why you're here!
There are a number of ways where links could become outdated. For me, I was testing a new theme and needed dummy content to check the look of the layout, which I deleted when I started adding the permanent content. I thought being behind a maintenance plugin and not having submitted the sitemap to Google Search Console would have stopped this, but turns out it doesn't.
The reasons don't really matter, finding the broken links does, so you can remove these links from appearing in the search engines. This how-to only covers Google (hence the title!)
Note: This is ONLY for content that no longer appears on your website NOT for content that exists but you don't want showing up on Google.
One way is by Google telling you via Google Search Console (used to be Google Webmaster Tools.)
Within Google Seach Console go to: Coverage then click on the 'Valid' links (as highlighted below)
Then on the next screen scroll down to see the details:
Click on 'Indexed, not submitted in sitemap' to get the list of links/urls. Click on each link to get a link you can copy and paste into the next bit.
Next, we're going to go to the Google Removals Tool:
Then copy the link into the field below the instructions and click 'Request Removal'
You will then see a confirmation screen where Google checks if the link is still live...
Click to 'Request Removal' and that's all there is to it.
You will then see a list of the links you've asked to remove below, along with the date of request and status of the request.
All you need to do now is wait for the links to be removed.