How to properly delete a page from your site - 410 page?

SOLVE
NikkiG
Contributor

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 The content is old and VERY outdated.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! 

Thank you!

1 Accepted solution

Accepted Solutions
coreysmith
Solution
Top Contributor | Diamond Partner

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.

View solution in original post

19 Replies 19
coreysmith
Top Contributor | Diamond Partner

Yes, that post is far more complicated than it needs to be.

 

You basically have three options:

 

1. Delete the page and never look back. If it's old content that no one visits then it probably doesn't make a difference.  If someone misses it then it's no big deal.

 

2. Delete the page and create a redirect to another page. When we made a big move of our site and deleted a lot of pages, we actually redirected them to a custom "oh no... it's been changed page"  it's been nearly 3 years and for all the pages we deleted and redirected (like 100 pages) this page has only been viewed 798 times. Our mediocre blog posts get more than that in a month.

 

3. Refresh the content on those URLs and keep the URL the same. If the URL can be repurposed this is a good approach.

 

Hope that helps.

NikkiG
Contributor

Hi @coreysmith. Thank you for the quick response! It was this sentence in the Yoast post that threw me for a loop: 

"Yet, in Google Search Console, Google will report 410s under “Not found” crawl errors, just like 404s. I’ve complained to Google about this several times but unfortunately, they have yet to fix it." 

 

So, I just wanted to make sure that if I do just delete the pages and never look back - I won't be trading crappy content for page not found errors that will hurt my SEO... ? 

 

I think your option 1 is what I'll go with... but that Yoast post has me scared now. 

0 Upvotes
coreysmith
Solution
Top Contributor | Diamond Partner

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.

View solution in original post

NikkiG
Contributor

Perfect! Thank you so much @coreysmith! You've been a huge help! Most of the pages are super old. So they won't/haven't seen any traffic at all. So I think I'm good to get rid of them completely. My ultimate goal is to just get a cleaned up sitemap submitted, that doesn't have nearly 40 useless URLs.  

0 Upvotes
Shekhar366
Member

Thanks, Smith for making it more simple to understand.

Can you be little more descriptive about the option 1 which is Delete the page and never look back. 

 

It would be much appreciated if you could guide us about the method to do so.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration in advance!

 

Cheers! 

 

0 Upvotes
coreysmith
Top Contributor | Diamond Partner

@Shekhar366 When I say delete, I mean just delete the page. Make it go away. Just go to the CMS and click on the page and hit the delete button.

0 Upvotes
Shekhar366
Member

Thank you for your prompt reply.


I need to clear one more thing regarding the same issue.

After deleting the page its showing 404 errors which is obvious but my concern is that should I use 410 redirections for this as this page doesn't exist now.

Your help in this query would be appreciated.

Thanks and cheers!

0 Upvotes
coreysmith
Top Contributor | Diamond Partner

You'll want to set up 301 redirects for those pages if you don't want to show the 404 error. You can use the URL redirect tool in HubSpot to do that.

0 Upvotes
OrionElle
Participant

Hi @coreysmith - so glad I found your input in here! Very helpful!

Just read your thread about permanently deleting posts/pages on a site, I have over 406 contributed posts that I need & want to delete - and from what I understand in your explanation to just "bin" them is all I need to do. But then I fear getting so many 404's will do more damage to my site!!

 

So am thinking of doing option #2 - but if I am to redirect them to a page saying "this post is deleted" page - is there a way to do this in bulk? I have a redirection plugin in my Wordpress - but I cannot see a way to "bulk redirect" a whole bunch of posts!?

 

I would appreciate any "enlightenment" on the matter.

All the best

OrionElle

0 Upvotes
coreysmith
Top Contributor | Diamond Partner

@OrionElle I'd just use the bulk import for redirects. If you do that then you should be set.

OrionElle
Participant

Thank you for the quick reply @coreysmith  much appreciated.

I am not sure how to do that but will try and do what you suggested.  🙂  

Cheers...

 

0 Upvotes
shansouldeio
Member

I have a simeple blog. I have published 400+ pages and now I want to delete them becouse of over laoding. How can I delete them quickly? Any idea? You can check here the pages of my website.

0 Upvotes
LGaddy
Member

Hi, i have a website related to tig welding, I have published 150+ pages and now I want to delete them becouse of some of my page with 404 error. Please help me How can I delete them quickly? You can xxx  pages of my website.

0 Upvotes
PSchoenrock
Member

@LGaddy wrote:

Hi, i have a website related to tig weldingI have published 150+ pages and now I want to delete them becouse of some of my page with 404 error. Please help me How can I delete them quickly? You can xxx  pages of my website.


its very easy simply delete those pages but before deletion must install 404 redirect plugin. This plugin will help your website to redirect those pages which givves 404 error and redirect them into homepage. 

AJohn
Participant

Howdy @coreysmith - so happy I discovered your contribution to here! Supportive!

Just read your string about forever erasing posts/pages on a site, I have more than 406 contributed posts that I need and need to erase - and from what I comprehend in your clarification to simply "receptacle" them is all I need to do. Be that as it may, at that point I dread getting such a huge number will harm my site!!

So am considering doing alternative #2 - yet in the event that I am to divert them to a page saying "this post is erased" page - is there an approach to do this in mass? I have a redirection module in my Wordpress - however I can't see an approach to "mass divert" an entire bundle of posts!?

I would value any "illumination" on the matter.

The very best

Ajohn

0 Upvotes
coreysmith
Top Contributor | Diamond Partner

@AJohn I've not personally had occasion to do the bulk redirection in Wordpress but I suspect that this approach would help you: https://www.bowlerhat.co.uk/bulk-redirects-wordpress 

0 Upvotes
fsolution
Member

I think you should use the wp reset pages script, which is available on google, and you will delete them quickly in just one click. I already use this on my website.

0 Upvotes
dmarsh
Member

There are so many scripts availabe on stackoverflow, you can search your code their, i already use one of those code into my website which is related to novel.

0 Upvotes
RMike
Member

In my opinion, you should use the wp reset pages script, which is available on Google, to remove the pages in one click. This is already used on my site.

0 Upvotes