Thread: Ghost Pages

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    Ghost Pages


    Hi,

    I just took over a local client and ran a site audit with SpyFu and it is showing a number of pages that had, at one time, contained PDF's.

    The site was hacked once and I am assuming that this is the reason. All of the pages are now 404's.

    Is there anything I can do to get rid of these off the report?

    Do I need to re-create each page and then use a 301 to redirect it?

    These pages are coming up in the SEO report and are being ranked using the bad keywords.

    Thanks

    Rick
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    Hi Rick

    What I would do is assemble a list of the 404 pages, then look at them and decide which ones will benefit you and still have merit.

    You don't have to create the page to do a redirect. You can create redirect rules for each url that shows a 404. Those that have merit or benefit, redirect to a new current page on your site. For the pages that have no benefit, send them to your custom 404 page. This custom page then can either tell google the page is 404 not found, or 410 the page is gone, and is never coming back. The 410 will get Google to deindex the pages faster. If the links to those pages are on the net somewhere other than your site, they will continue to crop up in your reports. Those you will have to remove from the referring sites if possible.

    You should never just blindly redirect everything to your home page. That can bring unexpected trouble when you least expect it.

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    • Chedders agrees
    Last edited by KnowOneSpecial; Nov 7th, 2017 at 02:00 PM. Reason: spelling correction
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    I echo knowonespecial with this, except to add the 410 page is the most powerful you can do to get these pages de-indexed quickly. Google treat this code with some priority over a standard 404 so its a good way of getting them out of google quickly. If these pages did contain PDF's for download its also important to make sure they have been deleted as well. Look out for hidden files as well.

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    • Prof.stan agrees
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    Thank you! I will follow your advice. The pages are definitely have no merit for my client.

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