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Deleting hundreds of pages - what effect on Google?

How do you delete many pages in a website?

     
9:37 am on Sep 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I have a link in my webpage www.domain.com/articles.htm that links to

www.domain.com/other-articles/ (it has 100 pages in this directory) and
www.domain.com/other-articles2/ (it has also 100 pages)

Those 200 pages are articles from article directories. Since they came from article directories, they are duplicate contents right? I noticed that my PageRank dropped from 4 to 3 since adding those contents.

My website has 300 pages in total. 100 pages are unique and 200 are not. Can I delete those 200 pages at once without alarming Google or other search engines? I already deleted all the links that links to those 200 pages in my domain www.domain.com. But I left the 200 pages and the two directories intact.

Please advise what to do to delete them?

12:38 pm on Sept 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Administrator phranque is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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you want to redirect each url with a 301 Moved Permanently status code.
12:51 pm on Sept 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

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You mean I should use 301 redirect? Why? I don't need those article pages (duplicate contents), that's why I wanted to delete them, but I don't know the right way.
10:04 pm on Sept 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

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You mean I should use 301 redirect? Why? I don't need those article pages (duplicate contents), that's why I wanted to delete them, but I don't know the right way.

where are the duplicate contents you are trying to delete?
your server?
google's index?

a 301 means the content at this url is gone/deleted/moved/whatever and has been permanently moved to/replaced with the content at another url.
if you have duplicate content, you pick the "good url" and redirect all duplicates of that content to the good one.
if you are deleting contents and you don't care what happens when that url is requested, you send a 404 which means the requested content is not found so go away.
if you wish, you can put alternate content on your 404 page to allow navigation to your site from the error page.

4:26 am on Sept 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I have already done this: "Remove all links to the articles from your website"

But the duplicate contents (articles) is still in my server. I use a custom 404 error, so no problem with that. But is it really OK to delete 200 pages of them at once? Will it not alarm Google?

If I leave those duplicate contents (articles) although I already "removed all links to the articles from my website", will it still harm my main www.domain.com domain name?

5:02 am on Sept 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I forgot to mention the most obvious part of my post.

The "X" means you already did it. When there is not a X in the [ ] then you should do it. When there are no more blank [ ] you are done and you don't have to do anything else.

12:04 pm on Sept 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I see. I didn't notice that. So that's how it is.

But I am still wondering if is it OK to delete 200 pages at once. Won't it alarm Google and penalize my site (even though I'm going to use the Webmaster Tools)?

5:54 pm on Sept 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

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You have 200 duplicated articles on your website. If they are indexed Google is probably already aware of them and your site has already been penalized for it on their reputation scale lowering the "value" of your website in their eyes.

Removing them is so very unlikely to harm you more than the duplicate content already is, and 200 articles are a drop in the sea at google headquarters. Furthermore by removing them you're making a sign to google and with some time, any penalty given to you because of the duplicate content will probably also be neutralized.

Besides from that, read Googles Guidelines for Webmasters, they have some advice in general about what is considered "good" and what is considered "evil" to that cute little fluffy bot they have running crazy around the internet.

Sincerely, and have fun,

10:19 am on Sept 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Thank you. I'll do all of that. But there is one thing I'm curious about.

If for example, there's a duplicate content "page" inside www.domain.com (www.domain.com/duplicate.html), and it was indexed by Google, but there is no link from www.domain.com pointing to www.domain.com/duplicate.html, will it still penalize the root domain www.domain.com even there's no link pointing to the duplicate page?

9:47 am on Sept 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I still have this question: If for example, there's a duplicate content "page" inside www.domain.com (www.domain.com/duplicate.html), and it was indexed by Google, but there is no link from www.domain.com pointing to www.domain.com/duplicate.html, will it still penalize the root domain www.domain.com even there's no link pointing to the duplicate page?
11:39 pm on Sept 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Strange Phenomena. I deleted a few pages on my site of keywords that were bringing worthless visitors. The URL is still active but they now resolve to a completely blank clear white page. My blank page moved up much higher than it ever was when there was content on it and turned 2000 hits yesterday.