How to properly delete a page from your site - 410 page?SOLVE
Jan 29, 2018 12:40 PM
I'm trying to figure out the best method for properly deleting pages from my site, my externally hosted domain, not Hubspot. I'm working on cleaning up my company's long-neglected sitemap. I've only been at this company for a little over a year, working on the site for about 6 months. SEO-speaking, I've been handed quite a mess. So far, it's a slow but steady process. But I'm hit a bump that I'm not sure how to best handle. They have URLs/pages that haven't been touched in literally 10 years. The content is old and VERY outdated. There are 36 URLs on the sitemap that need to just be trashed.
We use WordPress and I recently installed the Yoast plugin for our SEO management. I've read this page and am even more confused now. I'd planned to just delete the bad pages and have them no longer be crawlable by Google - and if someone, by some crazy chance, visited one of those URLs from 10 years ago, they'd get a 410 page - "this page has been deleted" message. But from what I'm reading now, Google reads 410 pages the same as 404 - page not found errors. So it still sees the deleted URLs. Even though, I've deleted them.
Am I interpreting this correctly? Or am I way off? Is there a way to just completely trash, permanently, old/useless URLs/pages from my site? I don't want to replace the content. I just want those URLs gone... If I still directed to a 410 page with a "this page has been deleted, but for more info see this page..." with a link to our current site, would Google still read that as a page not found error?
Any tips anyone could give would be greatly appreciated!
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Jan 29, 2018 2:12 PM
If you set it up as a 301 (permanent) or 302 (temporary) redirect then you should be fine with the errors.
However, my opinion is, that the 410 error you are getting when someone might visit the page is so minor that it's not worth worrying about. Google will pull it out of their index when they see it's not a valid link.
If it was a page with a lot of traffic, I'd be concerned. But, a page with little to no traffic shouldn't be bothered.
Google indexes pages and not sites so a page here or there will have minimal impact. Just get other great content up there that is compelling and amazing and you should be set.