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    Removed Sitemap, Search Console errors still there


    I recently removed an old sitemap from Search Console because it was full of duplicates and pages that no longer exist - and we already have a new, more up to date sitemap. However when I look at coverage errors in Search Console I'm still seeing all the errors that were caused by the old sitemap. A lot of these are 404s for pages that no longer exist and therefore should not be crawled.

    I now know that Search Console doesn't forget about these errors just because the old sitemap is gone, but how am I supposed to resolve these errors? Will Google keep crawling these error pages even without the old sitemap? And how am I supposed to stop it from crawling 404 pages - it's not like I can NoIndex or 301 Redirect a page that doesn't exist!
    Help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks.
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    You can use the noindex

    Read more:
    https://support.google.com/webmaster...er/93710?hl=en
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    Originally Posted by rastaviper
    You can use the noindex

    Read more:
    https://support.google.com/webmaster...er/93710?hl=en
    But how does that work with 404 pages that don't exist anymore?
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    Let me explain how Google treats 404 errors.

    First Google knows that a 404 is not permanent in some cases. Therefore Google will come back and check to see if the 404 page is truly gone.

    Also remember that 404 just means "Page Not Found", and it could be a transient error, so Google will protect the page for 24 hours.

    If you want the page error to disappear from your GSC and stay gone, then you need to make the page report a 410 status code next time Google tries to crawl that page.

    410 Status Code means:

    This page is gone forever.
    This page is never coming back.
    Google remove this page from your index.
    Within 24 hours after seeing the 410 status code Google will remove the page from it's index and never check to see if it has come back.

    Problem solved !

    Here is an interesting read for you:
    https://www.searchenginejournal.com/...status/254429/
    If you have never failed in your life, you have never achieved anything Noteworthy !
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    You can and should use 301 redirects from these 404 error codes.

    Either a blanket rule or list that they all 301 redirect to your home page, or if there is logical and or conditional hierarchy that they can redirect to (a site migration for example) then use those rules and redirect them to an appropriate similar new page.
    It is quite common to have links to pages that are 404s now - just making them not exist any more loses some of the link power coming to your domain.
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    Originally Posted by tstolber
    It is quite common to have links to pages that are 404s now - just making them not exist any more loses some of the link power coming to your domain.
    If these pages are being backlinked from IBL's I agree with you on redirecting to a more appropriate page. Good for the User eXperience.

    If this is an e-commerce site and you have discontinued the product, then a similar product page is the proper course. Again good for the UX.

    If it is a discontinued product, and there is no similar product available anywhere then a proper "discontinued product page" would be my choice.

    If it truly is a page you want removed, for instance a low quality page dragging the site down, and it does happen, (doorway pages for example), that truly needs to be removed then a 410 page setup just like a proper 404 page would be my choice of solutions.

    Also you need a proper 404 page to catch accidental miss-spelling of the url, we all be human and have typo's, I know I do, LOL.

    It truly depends on the exact scenario as to what needs to be done.

    Just FYI:

    Google has time and again stated that 404's will not cause a penalty for your site. So it's ok to have 404 pages and you shouldn't be overly concerned that they exist, but if you have an absurd amount then you need to fix the root cause.

    Just blindly redirecting to the homepage is not appropriate for all pages that return a 404 status code, it depends on the exact scenario as I stated above.

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