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Will Google penalize for bulk redirection to home page?

 7:55 am on Aug 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

In my website i had removed 10,000 urls from Google search results. These 10k url i have to redirect to home page or 404 page. If i send these 10k urls to using 301 to my home page Google will treat low quality site and penalized the website?

Anyone suggest me to i have to redirect to home page or 404 pages these urls.



 8:31 am on Aug 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

If i send these 10k urls to using 301 to my home page Google will treat low quality site and penalized the website?

According to John Mueller, it would be a bad idea to redirect them to the home page (or any single page).

You might also want to read through this current thread:



 8:34 am on Aug 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

The URLs that you have removed should be returning 404 without any redirect.

Google will not directly penalise you if you redirect non-existing URLs to either home page or to 404 page, but your ranking may suffer because of potential technical issues. From Google:
Returning a code other than 404 or 410 for a non-existent page (or redirecting users to another page, such as the homepage, instead of returning a 404) can be problematic. Firstly, it tells search engines that there’s a real page at that URL. As a result, that URL may be crawled and its content indexed. Because of the time Googlebot spends on non-existent pages, your unique URLs may not be discovered as quickly or visited as frequently and your site’s crawl coverage may be impacted.. [support.google.com...]


 11:11 am on Aug 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

Be careful not to confuse two things:
--what a human sees (the content of a page)
--the response a computer receives (a numerical response code)


 4:25 pm on Aug 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

Bulk redirects to a single page, especially when the target page is either not the same topic as previously found at the old, now redirected, URL or is the home page, is a "signal of poor technical quality".

Your redirects will likely be flagged as "soft 404 errors". You should deliver a 404 response header and a useful-to-humans error message on the HTML page, with links pointing to parts of your site that will be most useful right now (on a site selling something: "more products from this brand", "more products in this colour", "this product in a different colour", "a similar product from a different brand", etc).


 10:25 pm on Aug 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

Best advice? If pages are gone, let them die a 404 or 410 death. Keeps it clean and neat. If, however, any of those pages have a valid redirect to a new page (replacing the old one) then that should be done.


 6:31 am on Aug 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

I was the subject of negative SEO a few years ago, thousands of links were placed to non-existent URL's such as example.com/?new=1, which produced the same as result as example.com. I thought this may have created problems with duplicate content, so with htaccess I 301 redirected everything that had ?new to the home page. As it happened the site still sunk, so should this have been done different? Is there even a way of doing this to return a 404.

The htaccess code I used for this was:

RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} ^new=.*$
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.example.com/$1? [R=301,L]


 7:34 am on Aug 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

In the pattern
^new=.*$ the .*$ part is redundant as you are not capturing or reusing the information, nor should you. The ^ also means the redirect only works if "new" is the first parameter.

You had two options.
1. Redirect these requests to the canonical URL for the page. I would do that if the links are bringing useful traffic.
2. Return 404 so these URLs are simply ignored by Google. Some people would freak out at seeing long 404 reports in WMT but since you know the links are all bad, this is not a problem.


 9:01 am on Aug 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

Thank you all for your suggestions.

When EMD update happen my client one of the top site in industry getting huge orders last 7 years effected till now its not recovered. Before 3 moths EMD update i mad major site urls 301 redirect to new urls. I think this redirection Google treat as low quality site when EMD update happen. Anyone effect same as.


 11:01 am on Aug 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

Google will treat them as soft 404s and quickly send you a notice about it WMT. Earlier this month I disabled a plugin and a redirection happened instead of a 404. Google caught it quickly and let me know. Anything they send notices about is important to them so I would advise to return a 404.


 2:27 pm on Aug 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

I am pretty sure the idea is now that Google penalizes pages not sites, unless you do the unnatural linking thing. This is why 301's are useless if the page is penalized, in that case 404 it.

I 301 everything to index still, do not care what John Mu says. I want to so a test to see if they are talking the usual FUD.

Also want to try to a subdomain. Someone who has more time than me please make the test!


 10:57 pm on Aug 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

I 301 everything to index still, do not care what John Mu says.

Do you care what human users say? Speaking strictly as a user, I HATE it when a site does this. If nothing else, it makes it impossible to look at what I requested and see if I simply mistyped something, or if a bit of punctuation sneaked in at the end of a clicked link. It may increase the amount of time-- in seconds-- spent onsite. But it isn't active site-viewing time. It's just swearing-at-the-designer time.

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