lucy24 - 12:21 am on Jul 22, 2011 (gmt 0)
Which is better to clean cruft out of Google Cache? 301 or 410?
If I knew the answer to that, I would be rich :)
I was worried the 301 was leaving the links but creating a massive duplicate content at the target (home page). So if I gave Google a 410 eventually it would let go of the idea that the links are ever going to be meaningful.
Does this sound reasonable?
That's assuming for the sake of discussion that "sounds reasonable" and "what google would do" are the same thing. A 410 is better than a 404, and a 301 is better than a 302. No matter what you do, google will periodically visit the old links just to see if maybe you decide in 2023 to reactivate them. But in the long term, 410 is best.
Edit after seeing intervening post: I think you said earlier that this is all about search engines, not human visitors. It's always easier when you only have to think about one or the other :)