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something on the lines of redirecting those pages to the home page
Be very clear if you want to redirect or delete. 301 redirect is only for the same content moved to another location!
If you delete the pages, be sure to return error 410 (Gone forever), not 404.
You can also use the Remove URL function in WMT.
Can I use it to return error 410?
If the content is still useful, or as you put it, prominent, then why remove it at all?
I wouldn't suggest 301'ing them to non-related pages or your homepage.
No point in moving material that you're about to discontinue.
There were a few pages that I deleted (didn't include in the new site and redirected those pages to the home page. I realise now that was a mistake. Can you please guide me as to how to correct this mistake?
If I were you I would remove the pages first (and return a 410) and wait a month
If the pages don't exist any more, let them return a 404 error, no penalty for that.
How and where do I add the code you've mentioned.
return a 410
"Maintained for archival purposes. Deprecated." You lose nothing.
We've left our information about [blah-2] here for you as well as providing you with some links to others who still [blah] below and at the conclusion of our page on [blah-2].
a) would someone looking for the service also be interested in your information, either now or at some later time?
b) would you be doing the searcher a favor sending them to current providers of the same service?