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    Should I 301 redirect really old pages?


    On google webmaster, I'm showing accurate 404 errors for really old pages that no person is searching for.

    I used to redirect everything - but my htaccess file was cluttered and my site was slow. So I deleted most of the redirects to links that users weren't using.

    Since google is still crawling them - is it better to add the redirect or let it remain a 404 error?

    Thank you!
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    If the pages truly serves no purpose, doesn't bring in any juice then, have them respond with 410, Page gone. Google will remove it from it's index.

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    • seoman5 agrees : Thanks
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    You can ignore the 404 error, but I would not, because Google Webmasters is telling you it is an error.

    Any possible reason for less traffic to my site needs attention.
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    Thanks! So - is it not a concern to have a lot of redirects in my htaccess file?
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    Would you recommend a plugin to create 410's?

    Thanks!
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    Originally Posted by linjay
    On google webmaster, I'm showing accurate 404 errors for really old pages that no person is searching for.

    I used to redirect everything - but my htaccess file was cluttered and my site was slow. So I deleted most of the redirects to links that users weren't using.

    Since google is still crawling them - is it better to add the redirect or let it remain a 404 error?

    Thank you!
    It is important to know if those old pages carry some juice. So for example, if those old pages have some backlinks and contain some power, then you will want to redirect them to a relevant page to pass on that power... why waste juice?
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    They don't have any backlinks. They were just old blogs.
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    If these pages don't have any backlinks and aren't receiving any traffic right now, what good are they doing?
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    Originally Posted by ppres74
    If these pages don't have any backlinks and aren't receiving any traffic right now, what good are they doing?
    I don't think they are doing any good. I used to redirect them all but my htaccess file was so full of redirects and my site was slowing down. When I eliminated the redirects, my site speed increased.

    Now, I just don't know how to completely delete them from search engines. I found some plugins that may work - but is that the best way to go? Is there another simple-to-understand method?
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    It sounds like you're dealing with thousands or tens of thousands of pages? Is that right?
    If it was a matter of a few hundred (or so) you could use the Remove URL feature within Google Search Console.
    The other options are to use the "noindex" tag on those pages you don't want to appear in the index or password-protect the directories.

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