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SEO Effects of removing pages from Website

     
9:04 am on Jun 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Dear Webmaster,

I have a website, which servers the people of different languages. Now I would like to remove some language pages from the site.

Now my question is

1) All of a sudden removing the pages from site, will it make my site small under Google Eye.

2) What are the SEO effects will my site be facing after removing the pages

3) How should I go with this issues smoothly without effecting my website.


Thanks
5:24 pm on June 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Well, those are some pretty big questions.

1) All of a sudden removing the pages from site, will it make my site small under Google Eye.


How many pages will you remove? How many pages will you have left on your site after you remove them?

2) What are the SEO effects will my site be facing after removing the pages


For the pages you want to remove, what percentage of traffic do they get?

What will you do with those pages once you remove them?

3) How should I go with this issues smoothly without effecting my website.


If you will put those pages on a different website, then you should set up 301 redirects to those pages.

If you DON'T put those pages on a different site, that is fine. You just want to 401 those pages that will be removed. Just let google see that they no longer exist.

I hope this helps.
12:07 pm on June 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Hi Planet13,

Thanks for the reply, below are few details, can you suggest any thing more from them.

1) How many pages will you remove? How many pages will you have left on your site after you remove them?

We have around 180000 pages from whihch 8-10% of the pages will be removed.

2) For the pages you want to remove, what percentage of traffic do they get?

These pages get around 6% of the traffic

3)What will you do with those pages once you remove them?

We will redirect the pages to the home or the closest related page.

Also please provide reference threads if any from this forum regarding this issue which will be helpful for me.

12:59 pm on June 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I am also thinking about removing about 60% of pages from one of my websites. The reason for removing is that they don't receive any traffic, and are of very low quality. But... I'm not sure whether I should just delete them, or noindex them? And if I delete them, should I 301 them all... or not?
1:59 pm on June 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Because I am not an expert at this and because I work mostly on small sites I will let others with more experience comment.

But O would NOT 301 redirect Pages that you delete UNLESS it is to a CLOSELY related replacement page. Don't just redirect to pages that are NOT direct replacements for the deleted page.
2:16 pm on June 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Yes, "close match" is the operative word.

I am in the middle of removing ~50K URLs from searchengine indexes; half because they are duplicate content of some sort (caused because of site configuration errors) and half because they are system and other non-public pages that should not be indexed.

So, half of the unwanted URLs now return 301, and the other half now return 410 Gone.
3:13 pm on June 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

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The website that I'm about to "touch" is working on Wordpress. I'm not really sure whether I should just delete the "bad" pages and see what happens, or I should do something more (like 301 all the URLs to the homepage)? Thoughts?

This site got hammered during Panda 2.0, and then hammered even more during Panda 2.2. I suppose all the bad content is making the good content to lose rankings.
3:47 pm on June 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

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What about intra-site links and their anchor text? This is my concern about removing or de-indexing many pages. If the anchor text helps rankings and you remove the anchor text off 2,000 pages or whatever, how do not lose rankings?

You could try to get your 60% back, e.g., Pre-Panda traffic, but lose 60% from the lower rankings. If something like that happens, and then you try to go and put the pages back in a month or two, how could it not look like spam to Google?

I want to measure twice and cut once.
3:50 pm on June 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Never funnel a large number of pages to one new URL with a redirect. Redirect only if the new URL has content which closely matches the content of the old URL.

Never funnel a bunch of redirects to the home page. That is surely a BIG sign of "low technical quality" as far as searchengines are concerned.
3:57 pm on June 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

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My site is in a downward trend, definitely. I lost rankings for my major pages, and that is probably because of these low quality pages (the good pages have edu and gov backlinks, quality content and still got hammered).

That's why I'm looking to remove these low quality pages... Although now that you mentioned intra-linking, I'm kind of not sure what to do.