“Unavailable After” Google Introduces New Meta Tag

Last week Google has introduced one new Meta tag – Unavailable After – using which you can restrict Googlebot from crawling a particular page at a pre-defined time. That means, if you have a temporary page which will get moved after a certain period of time and after that you don’t want to receive any direct traffic from Google search result pages you can direct Google to remove that page from the results after the page expires.

Where I can use this?

There are lesser chances to use this option, but still there are some. Suppose if you have lot of promotional pages for limited period of time, and after they get expire, you can use this ‘Unavailable After” Meta tag to handle such pages.

How do I use this?

If you have a page which will get expired on Aug 10th, 2007 at 00:00:00 Indian Standard Time, here is the format:
<META NAME=”GOOGLEBOT” CONTENT=”unavailable_after: 10-Aug-2007 00:00:00 IST”>

Points to remember:

  • It will take one extra day for Google to remove the results from there Search Results.
  • It only removes the page from search results not from their system.
  • If you want them to remove the page from their index use the webamastercentral URL removal tool.
  • I am not sure whether other Search Engines such as Yahoo! or Live search recognizes this “Unavailable After” Meta tag.

A Word from the Author:

I don’t think I will be using this, if I have a page which is going to expire after a certain date, I would go with permanently redirecting that to any chosen page. I have done that and didn’t find anything wrong in that. A chance comes when I want that particular page back in search results, but Google is not talking about that scenario.

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