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Removing a large set of pages from Google's index



11:38 am on Mar 11, 2014 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I changed the publishing platform of a fairly large blog from Movable type to Wordpress.

Movable type paginated by using queries -

however Wordpress does the same by -

Based on this Google crawled thousands of pages using a combination of query strings -
So to get rid of the pages, I created a rule in htaccess which delivers a 404 for all pages with the query "page".

I can see a lot of crawl errors for these queries in my webmaster tools. Now I want to get these pages removed from Google's index.
So what should I do - mark them as fixed so Google crawl them again and eventually deletes them or
just ignore the errors and they will go automatically?


12:51 pm on Mar 11, 2014 (gmt 0)

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

i would use mod_rewrite to 301 redirect all requests with a page= paramter in the query string to the canonical wordpress url.


1:01 pm on Mar 11, 2014 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

You mean redirecting mywebsite.com/?page=12 to mywebsite.com/page/12/ ?

Well I did that for a year with .htaccess, but searching on Google with the site parameter still yielded results with the query mark.

So I resorted to 404.


2:31 pm on Mar 11, 2014 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month

I think phranque means redirect:




And you can't remove redirects after a year or 5 or 10 and hope any major SE will just stop spidering them, because there are many times URLs are reverted or reused after a 301 is in place, so they keep checking periodically to make sure the redirect is still in place.


2:32 pm on Mar 11, 2014 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Removing pages from Google takes a very long time. I've had thousands of pages go noindex and two months later, they are still in the index.


1:41 pm on Mar 12, 2014 (gmt 0)

It is difficult to remove page from google index, Googlebot remember every url, never forget.

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