Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 35.171.146.16

Forum Moderators: Robert Charlton & goodroi

Message Too Old, No Replies

404 Pages and Google

     
4:47 pm on Mar 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

10+ Year Member

joined:July 12, 2007
posts: 362
votes: 0


Hi guys,

We had a site that had about 20,000 pages. We switched from that site to another format, and got rid of all 20,000 pages.

Webmaster tools is showing 404 for all of the missing pages, which is correct. However, it's now very very slow on picking up anything new. Could this be a result of the mass of 404s?

Is there a way to tell google to drop the 404s, they aren't coming back, give me back my authority?

thanks
5:00 pm on Mar 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Jan 8, 2004
posts: 565
votes: 1


Have you tried setting all of the 20,000 pages to 301?
5:06 pm on Mar 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

joined:May 26, 2000
posts:37301
votes: 0


You can 301 them if there is a reasonable equivalent. I would not suggest just redirecting them all to the home page.

A 410 response is a clearer signal than 404. It means "Gone", not just "Not Found". Google now takes that status code to heart and it really speeds things along for many sites.
5:15 pm on Mar 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

10+ Year Member

joined:July 12, 2007
posts: 362
votes: 0


How can I set those to 410 instead of 404?

Do you know if these tons of 404s would cause a drop in rankings?
5:24 pm on Mar 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

joined:May 26, 2000
posts:37301
votes: 0


The technical approach is going to be different depending on your server. You can ask for help in either the Apache [webmasterworld.com] or Windows IIS [webmasterworld.com] forum.

Whether removing those pages will make trouble cannot have a one-size-fits-all answer. You should study search traffic, backlinks and your site's internal navigation to understand the relationships involved.

It you only changed URLs but the content is still available on a new URL, then you should not go with 404 or 410 - you should redirect to the new location. Even then, you can have a disruption for a few weeks, or in some cases months. Changing 20,000 URLs is major surgery.
5:34 pm on Mar 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

10+ Year Member

joined:July 12, 2007
posts: 362
votes: 0


Thanks tedster
5:59 pm on Mar 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

joined:Dec 29, 2003
posts:5428
votes: 0


apauto,
make a list of those pages and submit it as a sitemap to Google. Google needs to visit the pages and then mark them as gone /not found.
10:30 pm on Mar 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

10+ Year Member

joined:July 12, 2007
posts: 362
votes: 0


walkman - yeah, they are already listed in WMT. How long until google drops them from the index?
10:35 pm on Mar 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

Full Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Sept 30, 2006
posts:332
votes: 0


For 24 hour turn-around removal of URLs, use the URL Removal tool in WMT, under Crawler Access.
10:38 pm on Mar 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member g1smd is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:July 3, 2002
posts:18903
votes: 0


By changing all your URLs you have thrown away all your incoming links, and reset everything so that you are starting again from scatch with a new site. You'll have lost all your "trust" factors and all "age" factors will have been reverted too. You'll lose all your rankings and your traffic will likely be near zero for weeks or months.
 

Join The Conversation

Moderators and Top Contributors

Hot Threads This Week

Featured Threads

Free SEO Tools

Hire Expert Members