Aug 12, 2008 115 reads by Navneet Kaushal

Over at the Webmaster World, a new thread has surfaced that talks about the ways through which a Webmaster can get rid of the unwanted subpages, without being penalized for the act.

Whenever you try to remove such subpages, you face certain difficulties, such as moving the site to a new domain, change of CMS and optimization process. Below are some of the excerpts from the Webmaster World thread that provide the pros and cons of the various methods than can be used to remove these subpages.

Here are some of the excerpts from the Webmaster World Thread:

“I have thousands of pages that are indexed in Google, but are low quality pages. i want to get rid of them, primarily as a benfit to the users, as these pages don't have as much information as I had hoped.

What i want to do is 301 all of these pages to their parent page on the same site, but higher up in the tree.

Should I 301 all of them, and in about 6 months delete the files?

Should I do a robots.txt block on them, and then 301 them once they fell out of the index?

Should I just let them go 404, and fix the links so no user can see them?

I think a 301 would be the best, but thousands of 301s to go up overnight – will that hurt me with google?”

“As you can see in [url], I'm not a fan of using thousands of 301 redirects. My choice would be to take the low quality pages down, remove the links to them, and allow Google to get a 404.”

“I would just delete them too. If people want to see the content they can use Google cache, and once they no longer turn up in the results then Google will have eliminated them entirely. I have deleted a few pages lately and you get to see in WMT how quickly Google sorts it out.”

“Why would there be a penalty for "a lot of 404s?" Every so often we get a taste of that particular bit of "SEO mythology" here, and I sure wonder where it got started.

Maybe if your site has a lot of BAD INTERNAL LINKS, maybe that could hurt you a little bit. And even in that case, it would be the bad links that are hurting you, and not the fact that the server gives an accurate 404 response.

Every possible combination of characters except for your actual files is a 404, or at least it should be. If there really were a penalty for "too many 404s", imagine how easy it would be to take out a competitor just by aiming a bunch of bad links at their domain from another domain.”

Navneet Kaushal

Navneet Kaushal

Navneet Kaushal is the founder and CEO of PageTraffic, an SEO Agency in India with offices in Chicago, Mumbai and London. A leading search strategist, Navneet helps clients maintain an edge in search engines and the online media. Navneet's expertise has established PageTraffic as one of the most awarded and successful search marketing agencies.
Navneet Kaushal
Navneet Kaushal
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