I supposed that once a question was deleted, it could not be easily visible as explained in the following question How do I find deleted questions? but,

this recent deleted question is actually easily visible on Google "Etymology of field questions" where it appears just top of the list.

Is there any 'anonaly' about it or is it just the way Google works.

  • 1
    I suspect that the same won't be true after a couple of days. Something to do with cache, but I'm no expert.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Sep 4, 2015 at 8:48
  • And then there's the Wayback machine. You might be able to file a suit in one country to have all history removed everywhere and for all time in other countries too but that may not work
    – Mitch
    Sep 4, 2015 at 13:05
  • Well, I disagree with your evaluation. But Sven has posted a very good answer, I'm relieved to say, and the question is attracting a fair bit of attention, which is also nice.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Nov 28, 2015 at 8:27

1 Answer 1


Google does not work in real time; they have algorithms for how often and how deeply for various sites, but the specifics are of course a trade secret.

StackExchange as a whole seems to get re-indexed very regularly, multiple times per day, but because of the multitude of problems that can prevent a website from loading correctly— congestion in different parts of the Internet, failures of various server and network hardware components; bugs in the web server software, the application server software, the database server software, etc. ad infinitum— a URL that returns an error is not going to be deleted immediately. It will be revisited periodically to see if it is available again, and only after an algorithmically-determined amount of time when it remains unavailable will it be demoted or deleted.

  • Out of curiosity, but if enough people click on the "deleted" question does that mean Google will keep the link alive?
    – Mari-Lou A
    Sep 5, 2015 at 5:28
  • @Mari-Lou At least for a time, but I'm quite certain even very popular links will be removed once identified as dead. Link rot has become a pretty serious issue, though as stated by choster, Google and other sites have processes to combat this.
    – altaltpow
    Sep 9, 2015 at 21:32
  • For an anecdote, one of the small sites I host as a volunteer was static (both in terms of technology and content) from 1997 to 2005. We converted to a Drupal site in 2005 and redirected some URLs and deleted some obsolete content, but Googlebot continued to visit the old URLs for a year or so after they started turning up 404. But this is most likely because of the large number of inbound links and the extreme stability of the URLs, neither of which which will apply to deleted SE questions.
    – choster
    Sep 9, 2015 at 21:46
  • @altaltpow well this link has gone. Josh's deleted post is no longer listed.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Sep 9, 2015 at 21:48
  • @Mari-LouA Wow that is much faster than I would have expected, but Google does crawl Stack Exchange very frequently. I was once researching a phrase in a Stack Exchange post and it was already the top result in Google after being posted only 10 minutes earlier.
    – altaltpow
    Sep 9, 2015 at 21:54

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