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Deleting hundreds of records from dynamic site
what's the best search engine friendly way to do this

 5:42 pm on Dec 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

I need to delete hundreds and eventually a few thousand records from a dynamic site that will result in 500 errors. Right now I have a custom 500 error page set up. Is this the best way to handle this? How long will Google try to index the URLs before realizing the pages no longer exist and drop them from the index?



 7:14 pm on Dec 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

A 500 status will any spider that there's an internal server error - and any bot may keep spidering indefinitely to see if the error's been handled and the page is now available. It's better for search engines (and more accurate) to find a way to return either a 404 or 410 status - "not found" or "gone".

Googlebot will still keep trying to spider these urls - sometimes for over ayear - but with decreasing frequency. Addtionally, if you want to see those 404 or 410 status urls completely dropped from search results quiuckly, you can easily request that and have it happen. Not so with a 500 error.


 7:33 pm on Dec 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

Well there's no way I can return a 404 on these pages, right?
So it seems my only option is to show the friendly 500 page and wait a long time until these pages are gone or keep the pages with the message that the 'widget' is no longer available. (not preferred)


 7:36 pm on Dec 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

Well there's no way I can return a 404 on these pages, right?

Please explain a bit more about why that's true. If the server cannot find a requested url, it should be able to say so, and not that it threw an error.


 7:54 pm on Dec 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

If I delete a record and then try the URL I'm going to get:

Either BOF or EOF is True, or the current record has been deleted. Requested operation requires a current record.

Which is a 500 error. How could I get the server to show it as a 404. Excuse my ignorance I'm not well versed in this.


 4:25 pm on Dec 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

Can any body give me any guidance on this?
I really need to have these pages show as a 404 if possible.
Is this accomplished on the server side?


 1:11 am on Dec 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

Yes, it is a technical server-side issue and not really a Google Search forum issue. I'd suggest posting your technical question in the most appropriate of our technical forums - some likely candidates:

Apache Web Server [webmasterworld.com]
Microsoft IIS Web Server [webmasterworld.com]
Databases [webmasterworld.com]


 5:46 pm on Dec 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

you need to do something along these lines:

'This code assumes your SQL connection is open and the
'object is named "objado". You also need to have page buffering enabled in the IIS Manager or at the top of the page do a response.buffer=true

set rs = objado.execute(insert-sql-statement-here)

if rs.eof or rs.bof then

response.status = "404 - Page not found" 'or 410 - Gone your choice
response.write "insert your friendly HTML error code here"
'clean up open object references
set rs = nothing
set objado = nothing


'do your normal recordset processing here
end if

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