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Am I right to assume that I need to use a 410-page gone and then link to the main site from there? Can I use an automatic redirect? Help?
Essentially, I have three pages in Google's index that I want gone... Suggestions?
Another approach is to use /robots.txt or META robots exclusion and use Google's automatic removal tool.
If you have links to those URLs and want a chance of passing the link benefit to their replacements; an HTTP 301 redirect or META refresh element with zero seconds will often achieve this. At some times in the past Google have done strange things with redirects, so I would use this approach only if the destination URLs already have substantially more or better links than the old URLs.
Lastly, you could just put up a page linking to the new page. This passes about 97% of the PageRank, though not the full benefit of the multimple links to the old URLs.
I do this to cover old dead pages, but it also picks up spelling errors too, so that if someone wrongly types in a page extension it will send them to the main home page instead, which sometimes helps keep a visitor on-site.
Drop me a PM if you want any further details.