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if you return 410 for /removedpage but 301 for /removedpage?some=querystring (redirects to fix canonical issues including www/non-www)
The main question is: why the massive renewal of interest now?
I've observed that in addition to periodically rechecking the lists of 404s it keeps, Google also often recrawls these lists when there's a refresh of the index, as might occur at a large update of the type we just had.
This observation from a 2006 interview with the Google Sitemaps Team is helpful... [smart-it-consulting.com...]
My emphasis added...When Googlebot receives either (a 404 or 410) response when trying to crawl a page, that page doesn't get included in the refresh of the index. So, over time, as the Googlebot recrawls your site, pages that no longer exist should fall out of our index naturally.
My sense of the above is that by recrawling the old lists at updates or refreshes, Google is able to generate "clean" reference points of sorts, with currently 404ed urls removed from the visible index. The above interview was in 2006, though, and the index has gotten much more complex, so it's hard to say whether the 404ed pages are removed from the index in one pass, or after many....
And your [G] directives will come before any redirects, so there should be no opportunity to redirect anything.
Its also getting on my nerves, they are spidering pages that dont even exist, never had and of cause old pages that has not been online for years.