[unisog] Getting things deleted from Google's cache

Russell Fulton r.fulton at auckland.ac.nz
Thu Apr 6 22:07:49 GMT 2006

Thanks for the various links and pointers to other places where it might
be cached.  Much appreciated.

The matter has now been resolved and I thought it would be worthwhile
posting the details of the resolution.

I did two things:
1/ Sent a note to security at google.com explaining what had happened and
pointing out that the document involved was covered by NZ privacy
legislation.  Google responded in about 30 hours by removing the
document from their cache.

2/ I also submitted the url to Google's automated removal system, the
status on that request still shows as "pending".

Note that the automated removal system *requires* that the web server
still be active.  The link will be removed *only* if attempts to
retrieve the url result in a 404 return.

If you have a web server that you are taking down and you don't want the
stuff hanging around in Google's cache you must leave a skeleton site up
so that when the crawler comes visiting it will get 404s for the
document.  This will trigger their removal from the cache.  Simply
removing the site form the net will leave any data in the cache intact.


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