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Reworking Link Structure

issues with removing a large amount of pages?

3:37 pm on Aug 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I have a large site dedicated to city searches by state.. I am in the process of removing a large majority of city pages.(site is too large) I have removed the link to the site map and all links to pages I dont want spidered.

My question is do I have to delete these removed pages from the root completely in order for them to be droped by the search engines...and are there any issues in deleting a large number of pages all at once?

thank you for any response in this matter

4:05 pm on Aug 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member quadrille is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

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If you want to delete the pages, then do so, check your site navigation - xenu is your friend - and create a new site map.

If you simply want to remove the pages from search engine listings, then use robots.txt or noindex

There will be consequences of removing pages from your site.

Unknown to you - and not always easy to confirm - there may be links to those pages. So you may lose some pagerank as a result.

People may have bookmarked those pages, so you may lose visitors. Using a 301 redirect to remaining pages on the same topic may help - also create a useful, user friendly 404 page.

Depending what you delete, you site may cease to include many search terms - so your site will cease to be found by people searching for those terms.

You are removing content, potentially making your site less useful to visitors, possibly reducing the number who would otherwise have returned / bookmarked / linked to your site.

You do not say what you mean by "too large" - but in general, removing pages is an unwise move, unless they are just plain wrong. I know of no benefits, but there may well be further damage you are inviting.

4:19 pm on Aug 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

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thanks for the feedback. in regards to the site being too large. I believe it has been over optimized...by trying to include every city in north america. My hope is to gain greater position only the city capitals by removing the smaller centers thus reducing the page rank being filtered down
2:16 am on Aug 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

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as mentioned earlier, 301 redirects on each page are good for bookmarked and linked pages.
Also, once you gained authority, you can remove the 301 and have pages back again.

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