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    Can I remove links from my site in bulk?


    I have around 5,000 local links to cities and services on the site. due to all the recent changes I need to remove them. The structure right now is:

    Local Services Page (with all states/services)
    Service/State Page
    City Page


    Can I just go and remove the links for ALL the 4,700 I don't use and have no traffic? Unless, I need to delete them in bulks. I was thinking of 500 every week.

    Also, should I delete the actual pages from the server as well, or it doesn't matter if nothing will link to these pages.
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  3. Philip@SearchBenefit.com
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    It's hard to venture advice without hearing more. When I say "can I" delete them, what exactly are you worried about?

    Also, what is the nature of the site, and of the change that requires this?

    From the SEO point of view, it's always best not to simply delete any content. You don't know who is linking to those pages, but if you have links pointing them, you don't want to break them by returning a 404 or 302 message. Always use a 301 redirect, and always try to redirect to the most relevant page on your site (e.g. a category page) instead of the home page, when possible.

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    These are local services pages. The main page will have all the different services (some of them are very similar) and under each service it will have the links for the states. For example:

    Long Distance Moving Companies
    California, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey

    I have 7 of these sections and each one contains almost 700 links to cities. Each city page contain ALMOST the same data. I'm sure you've seen it before.

    From my understanding, Google doesn't like this "technique" and I can get penalized over that (if not already).

    That information helps?
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  7. Philip@SearchBenefit.com
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    Well if they are not informative pages, you can remove them with a 301 redirect.
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    You can argue about the fact if they are informative or not. They provide valid information about the local service of the company in that specif city. For example:

    moveeast.com/long-distance-moving-companies/alameda-california-ca.asp (Long Distance Moving Companies Alameda, California (CA) - Get a Quote)
    moveeast.com/long-distance-moving-company/alameda-california-ca.asp (Long Distance Moving Company Alameda, California (CA) - Get a Quote)

    Same city. Different service.
    Last edited by dzine; Nov 5th, 2013 at 04:57 AM. Reason: Please unlink your example URLs the next time
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  11. the mango demon
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    Since we are talking about 5000 pages, there is a very slim chance they have any valuable content. So even if they might have some freak link here and there the sheer number of "not so important pages' on your site questions your authority. I would only create city-service page only if I can manage geographically and demographically relevant content for each page.

    You can delete all 5000 at a time and place a 301 redirect with some conditions. If you are going to retain your state pages redirect all deleted cities to its state.
    If you have different services and you are deleting state and cities pages both redirect them to the service page. In short do the most relevant redirection practically possible.
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    Yes and no.

    They are important because they are very focused (service per city). They are not important because we're talking about thousands of pages that has the same data but different city/state/population size and a few more things. So there's a good chance Google will consider them spam.

    If I choose to delete all pages, how do I go about placing 301 redirect? If I delete the pages, they (users/crawlers) won't have anything to land on?
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    This is not clear to me. Can I delete the actual pages or just remove the links?
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  17. the mango demon
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    Are you telling me all of those 5000 pages are static pages?
    If you have a structure as you suggested above then use htaccess or equivalent to redirect domain.com/service/state/* to one state page. If you dont have a state page then to the service page.
    In the worst situation if you cannot manage individual redirects do a 404 to the home page or a custom 404 page with a search box and some commonly used links for navigation.

    I hope that helps.
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    These are ASP pages but not DB riven. EVERY page has a unique set of variables that adds and changes certain textual elements or a local map for example. SO no, they are not all the exact same pages.

    I'm removing the links to the pages already but only 500 a week. Can I remove them all at once? The pages still on the server.

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