Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 18.207.136.184

Forum Moderators: Robert Charlton & goodroi

Deleting hundreds of pages at once... bad idea?

     
1:21 am on Mar 21, 2019 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Jan 8, 2019
posts: 89
votes: 2


I have over 700 pages to delete.

Some are keyword cannibals.

Others are empty attachment pages caused by a wordpress/yoast bug.

Others get close to 0 traffic and never will do better.

I'm going to delete and 410 most of them. But I'm wondering, can there be any negative effects to suddenly deleting 700 pages in one fell swoop?

PS I already made sure to change any interlinks to the soon-to-be deleted pages. And I'm 301ing any pages that actually get traffic/links.

Thanks for any advice you can provide!
9:58 am on Mar 21, 2019 (gmt 0)

Junior Member from DK 

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Oct 24, 2018
posts: 47
votes: 4


Sounds good to me. If it makes you feel better, maybe do a hundred at a time once a week, just to observe.
10:28 am on Mar 21, 2019 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

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

joined:Nov 29, 2005
posts:10326
votes: 1059


If the pages are as described, I'd do them all at one time and move on.
10:51 am on Mar 21, 2019 (gmt 0)

Administrator from GB 

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

joined:May 9, 2000
posts:26313
votes: 1028


I always believe in test, test, test.
Nobody can know exactly how Google sees the site in question, except Google.
The bug is less of an issue.

Yes, it could affect the site, so i'd probably remove the others more slowly, and as suggested, monitor.

Test, test, test.
11:06 am on Mar 21, 2019 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

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

joined:Aug 4, 2008
posts:3652
votes: 369


Even if you delete all of these pages at one time, it could take googlebot weeks or even months to find all of the 410s. You could manually remove them, but I wouldn't do that myself, since in my opinion a gradual approach is better.
5:20 pm on Mar 21, 2019 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Apr 9, 2011
posts:15814
votes: 848


700 out of how many? 1000? 100,000? The question is not about raw numbers but about what percentage of the entire site is affected. Heck, amazon probably drops 700 pages every day.
6:40 pm on Mar 21, 2019 (gmt 0)

New User

joined:Mar 20, 2019
posts:4
votes: 0


I've done this recently and it was perfectly fine. I removed 150+ pages of content and around 700 blank redirects (that were blocked by robots.txt so googlebot never saw the meta noindex). It's about 3 months down the road and I'm actively trying to get them out of the index and I still have about 90 left.

So you don't have to worry about a sudden impact, it takes time for Google to recrawl them. I've even been uploading custom temporary sitemaps to help (it does). What doesn't help at all is the URL Inspection tool and requesting indexing. If it runs into a 404 or Noindex directive then it never requests the indexing it seems.

If you upload a sitemap with all you took away and deleted, it will "verify the sitemap" and drop a ton out. Takes a couple weeks it seems. Then you'll get a ton of "Error" or "Valid but with Issues" in the new Search Console coverage dashboard. From there you'll be able to "validate" each set of problems and wait a couple weeks again. It'll go through and zap most of them again, but not all.

Then I start over with a new sitemap and rinse and repeat.
10:14 pm on Mar 22, 2019 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Jan 8, 2019
posts: 89
votes: 2


Hi All,

Thank you for your input.

I'm going to be careful and do it in batches because, well, I might lose my job if something goes awry.

@Bonehead84

Thanks for the step-by-step. Very helpful. I'll use that,
 

Join The Conversation

Moderators and Top Contributors

Hot Threads This Week

Featured Threads

Free SEO Tools

Hire Expert Members