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How to remove a page with the least damage

 10:28 am on Mar 29, 2013 (gmt 0)

Hi there...need a little advise pls. I have a site that is about 10 yrs old and does well in search. This site promotes/sells certain products and has sold the same products for the duration of the 10yrs. There is a specific product that it will no longer feature/sell....say "blue widgets" and all reference to blue widgets needs to be removed. The main issue is that blue widgets had a page dedicated to it and this page features site wide in the main navigation...the site is about 1000 pages. I need to remove this page completely aswell as remove it from the nav. This page is also well linked to and ranks well for blue widgets in search. I do not have anything similar to 301 the page to as the blue widgets are very unique compared to what the other products are. Obviously no problem to remove the page itself an the link in the nav....but how do i do my best to keep the link juice aswell as traffic it used to generate but without "upsetting" any search engines aswell as users. appreciate any advise...thank you



 1:23 pm on Mar 29, 2013 (gmt 0)

without a 200 or 301 response that includes relevant content and the essential internal linking, i don't see how you can hope or deserve to preserve link equity.


 1:28 pm on Mar 29, 2013 (gmt 0)

The simplest way would be to add the words "no longer available" to the page and gradually remove all internal navigation pointing to the page.

A meta robots "noindex" directive will also remove the page from the SERPs.


 8:36 pm on Mar 29, 2013 (gmt 0)

g1, are you suggesting remove/change the content rather than remove the page itself?

If you have any kind of one-on-one relationship with any of the people linking to the former page, would it be appropriate to ask them individually to remove the links? It would be good for humans and good for the other sites but I've no idea whether it would be good for your own site.


 10:47 am on Mar 30, 2013 (gmt 0)

I have nothing to 301 it too.....so all i can do is remove it from the site aswell as navigation and then also remove from sitemap. Would there be anything else to do to make it as gentle as possible for the search engines?


 7:24 pm on Mar 30, 2013 (gmt 0)

Would there be anything else to do to make it as gentle as possible for the search engines?

You know all those people who write in to Miss Manners asking how to break up with their boyfriend without making him feel rejected?

Can't be done. Sooner or later you have to tell the search engine it's gone.

Isn't there any possibility of keeping the page for information-only rather than for sales? If it's still got significant links and search-engine traffic it must be providing something of value.


 7:29 am on Mar 31, 2013 (gmt 0)

thanks Lucy....but no due to certain "issues" the content must disappear. I guess i will just have to "break up"

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