Once Google have the page indexed it will stay indexed as long as it exists. If a link that no longer exists was spidered in the past or if it was in a site map then they will have found it and will continue to index it.
I have seen plenty of examples of orphaned pages continuing in the SERPS and plenty of webmasters who thought they were "taking down" a page by making it an orphan.
Does anyone actually visit the pages? If so, logs will tell you how they got there. Unless, of course, the only way they ever get there is via search engines.
@piatkow and @lucy24 thanks for your contributions.. :)
I've often wondered about this, too.
I have a not-NEVER-linked-to-by-ANYTHING web page mainly for personal use --
local weather conditions, weather radar image, and a few local web cams.
But, I have passed the URL on to several friends (who have NO idea how to put
up a web page or a blog). Yet Google has the page indexed -- which
really is not a concern.
I'm guessing it got into the wild via
1. A Google-like toolbar.
2. A Facebook or Twitter posting.
There are so many ways that Google finds pages on its own, which is funny, because newbies are always asking, "How can I get my pages into Google?", when the reality is that it's harder to keep your pages *out* of Google!
you might find this thread interesting...
Top 20 Stealth Links - Getting your url in front of Search Engines by nontraditional means:
|plenty of webmasters who thought they were "taking down" a page by making it an orphan. |
In fact you are taking down a url if it's an orphan. It may take a while but eventually spiders will drop it unless you have references somewhere in your domain the spider can trace and imply a problem with the code you use.
In fact you are taking down a url if it's an orphan.
I have seen pages stay in the SERPS despite all links being removed. They were only found with some very obscure long tail searches but they were still indexed.
Back to the OP, removing internal links does not guarantee that all links are removed. Somebody may have deep linked to the site.
|I have seen pages stay in the SERPS despite all links being removed |
Yes spiders may keep accessing them no matter what you do. If the links are listed on other domains bots will follow. So for example if you buy a domain and post completely different content the spiders may keep accessing the old links for an eternity no matter what headers you output 200, 301, 404 doesn't matter. They will follow any url if they find it internal or external.
Now if you see errors in GWT it maybe different and signify a problem with the application somehow generating invalid urls. You need to watch for those and in many cases google doesn't even state the path to trace them.