Netlify subdomain (which has been deleted) showing up in Google

Hello, I initially built a demo site for a client at, I am trying to resolve the below issue for a client who isn’t happy about the first result being a dead page.

I have subsequently built them a different site and hosted it at “”. The issue I am running into, is when people search for 'FirstName LastName" on Google, the netflify subdomain ( appears first in the results along with the meta data description before “”.

I have subsequently deleted the subdomain hoping this would remove the problem, but the site is still indexed. When I navigate to the site it shows up with a 404 error (below)

  • Error Message: “Site Not Found Looks like you’ve followed a broken link or entered a URL that doesn’t exist on Netlify.”

I have read about solutions to have the site not indexed using 301s and the like, or rerouting from Google Domains but with the site deleted I’m unsure what my options are.
Thank you all so much for reading.

Hi, @wjp09. You could do this:

  • create a new site using that subdomain
  • on the new site create 301 redirects to the correct domain
  • claim the subdomain site in the SEO tools at Google
  • ask Google to reindex the subdomain you don’t want showing up now that the 301s work

If there are other questions about how to do any of that, please let us know.

Hi @luke , I am having trouble with your instructions and realize I may have been unclear with my initial ask. I am not sure how I can claim the subdomain site in SEO tools at google. It requires DNS updates, which it doesn’t seem I can make without having a custom domain.

As things are now:
Site 1: was
Site 2: was which can be reached by going to “".

When typing in my clients “FirstName LastName” into google, site 1 shows up first in google indexing, followed by site 2.

Sorry for the lack of clarity before.

Hi, @wjp09. DNS verification is only one way to claim the indexed site. The “URL prefix” method can be used to verify via HTTP instead and there is nothing preventing that verification method. Here is a screenshot to clarify:

This is the solution to expedite the removal of those search results. The other solution is to just wait and Google will automatically remove the search results that 404 now eventually. However, if you want it to happen faster, the instructions I sent before are the correct instructions.

Do you have any questions about those instructions?

Hi @luke all good so far. Just trying to establish the redirect now. It doesn’t seem to be working.

I have my root site folder “Site”. Inside of “Site” I have 2 files,
index.html and _redirects (with no extension.) Inside of it, I have tried following the syntax shown here:

and it does not seem to be reacting to any redirect listed.

I have tried:
/ /test (to see if it would kick to a 404 error)
/* 301

In my Deploy Summary it says:
1 redirect rule processed
And I can see the _redirects file as well as my index.html under Deploy File Browser.

Change 301 to 301!

That worked thank you both.