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Hello,

I asked this question once before and I didnt really get an answer, so I thought I would ask here and see what anyone here thinks.

On google webmaster tools there is a section called "URL Removals" . There are some pages of our site that are error pages that are being indexed by google. They were pages that had content on them at one point, but now they have nothing on them.

If I use this "URL Removal" tool to remove these pages, will it hurt the site? Meaning, is it better to just leaving google to index those pages, even though when you click on the link you get a "error 404"? I could go in a remove all these pages but there are quite a few.

Anyone have any thoughts??

Thanks!

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Last Post by x3mario
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It won't hurt your site. If anything, do a redirect to a page that explains the page is removed and offer the user a chance to see other content. That way you take advantage of this traffic while it lasts.

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Oh ok, that would probably be better then deleting the pages. So would my 404 error page be enough. On that page there is an explaination and a link back to the home page or sitemap. You think thats is good enough?

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Another option, and as the OP mentioned, is to delete the web pages altogether without a 404 at all. Google will discover the webpages no longer exist and after a few attempts to find them, will remove them from its index.

Sure, you can prolong this event by offering a link to actual content through the error page method and you may in fact gain a trickling of misdirected visitors, but that's pretty lame really (and kinda' desperate appearing too). It's always better, in my opinion, to quickly move on to newer hunting grounds (build new content) rather than manipulate the obsolete.

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Sure, you can prolong this event by offering a link to actual content through the error page method and you may in fact gain a trickling of misdirected visitors, but that's pretty lame really (and kinda' desperate appearing too). It's always better, in my opinion, to quickly move on to newer hunting grounds (build new content) rather than manipulate the obsolete.

Actually that's what is recommended by usability experts as it allows members who are on your site but found a bad page to find the content they are looking for. Not only is not unprofessional or lame, but it is a very intelligent way to handle 404 errors regardless of the cause. This goes beyond SEO and is downright good usability.

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Not only is not unprofessional or lame, but it is a very intelligent way to handle 404 errors regardless of the cause. This goes beyond SEO and is downright good usability.

Pardon me as I thaught we were in a search engine optimization forum.

SEO juniors should have opinions from several experienced optimizers before they deploy their search engine strategies.

Let me clarify this for you. 404s used for SEO purposes is a poor technique, a pitiful attempt at harnassing traffic from non-existing content. As a matter of fact, I consider any redirecting or guiding of a visitor from non-contentual web pages to actual content a form of search engine manipulation. The search engine results pages are already over-cluttered with the non-existing, why add more?

If it is no longer of value to have a web page, get rid of it.

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I see your point, but I think, what I am saying is, if they come across a page that no longer exists, wouldnt it be a good idea to redirect them to the index page? I was thinking this could benefit anyone who bookmarked a certain page. I wouldnt want to get rid of pages, but redirect them to the new content.
I agree with stymiee, but I appreciate the input. It would take me quite awhile to delete the pages.

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Pardon me as I thaught we were in a search engine optimization forum.

SEO juniors should have opinions from several experienced optimizers before they deploy their search engine strategies.

Let me clarify this for you. 404s used for SEO purposes is a poor technique, a pitiful attempt at harnassing traffic from non-existing content. As a matter of fact, I consider any redirecting or guiding of a visitor from non-contentual web pages to actual content a form of search engine manipulation. The search engine results pages are already over-cluttered with the non-existing, why add more?

If it is no longer of value to have a web page, get rid of it.

You need a lesson in how this all works. When someone visits a page that doesn't exist you serve them, and the search engines, a 404 page so they know it isn't there any more. But instead of serving them a useless page with no content you give them an opportunity to find that content, or other relevant content, on your website. This method still causes the page to drop out of the SERPs because a 404 header is still sent out and helps humans understand the page is gone and offers them a chance to find relevant content anyway. That's why it is the right solution. It isn't manipulating anything and is very usable.

Does that make sense?

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It will not hurt the site Google made it for you use because some people has sensitive data on there site and they don't want it to get out!

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So the url removal is moer or less if a page gets indexed that is not supposed to be indexed. I see :)

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Hello,

I asked this question once before and I didnt really get an answer, so I thought I would ask here and see what anyone here thinks.

On google webmaster tools there is a section called "URL Removals" . There are some pages of our site that are error pages that are being indexed by google. They were pages that had content on them at one point, but now they have nothing on them.

If I use this "URL Removal" tool to remove these pages, will it hurt the site? Meaning, is it better to just leaving google to index those pages, even though when you click on the link you get a "error 404"? I could go in a remove all these pages but there are quite a few.

Anyone have any thoughts??

Thanks!

I agree with stymiee it doesn't hurt your site.. It only removed indexed pages on Google if you deleted it's ok and wait for Google to reindex you page again... As we all know that Google indexing is faster than the 2 SE (yahoo and MSN)..

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