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3000 old useless pages indexed in google - 404 or 301 them?

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by ThunderC, Oct 27, 2012.

  1. ThunderC

    ThunderC Power Member

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    i got an old site with 3000+ pages indexed in google, i want to completely redo the site, and those old pages are useless, they get no external links to them, they are just indexed, should i 404 them all or 301 them to the main page? cause i guess it won't look too good for Big G if 3000 pages are just gone..

    what do you guys think?
     
  2. pj413

    pj413 Regular Member

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    Use a 301 redirect. Unless they're actively hurting you, there's no reason not to use a 301. Having more pages indexed in Google is better than fewer pages.
     
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  3. moonlighsunligh

    moonlighsunligh Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    I saw one site ranking just because of (many) internal 301 redirects.
     
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  4. kaloyan14

    kaloyan14 Regular Member

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    They are few ways:
    404 options:
    - Use 404 and post ads on the 404 page. (strongly not recommended)
    - Redirect all 404 to you home page.
    - Create a good user friendly 404 page with search option.
    301 option:
    - Redirect permanently all internal pages to you home page. (recommended)
    In this way you will split your internal RP with your homepage and you will not lose ranking. :)
     
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  5. Endire

    Endire Elite Member Premium Member

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    Great question ThunderC,

    If you are tracking the site have you looked at how much traffic (if any) you are receiving from these pages? If it makes up a substantial amount you should 301 redirect them. The destination you choose (home page or similar page) may also be determined by how much they are traveled. If you can determine that people clicking on those links are benefiting you in some way then you may want to redirect them to similar pages in your redesign as opposed to the home page of your site. Mass redirecting everything to the home page can make for a poor user experience.

    At the very least you should redirect those old pages somewhere. Check out this post on Hubspot mentioning Toys R Us and how the company didn't redirect old traffic. Major mistake,

    http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/7430/What-is-a-301-Redirect-and-Why-Should-You-Care.aspx

    Hope that helps,

    Shawn
     
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  6. Scritty

    Scritty Elite Member Premium Member

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    301's a re fine - almost zero - if not actually sero - neg SEO effect

    404's have a measurable negative effect on both Googles perception of your site as far as user experience (bounce rate, content, navigation)

    301 almost every time

    Scritty
     
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  7. dannys

    dannys Newbie

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    I use 301 redirect just about every time.
     
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  8. ThunderC

    ThunderC Power Member

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    thanks guys, going to go with 301 redirect :)
     
  9. TheLinkGuy

    TheLinkGuy Power Member

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    Yep, 301 it without a doubt. you will be losing out on link juice that may exist but you don't see....
     
  10. jake454

    jake454 Junior Member

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    I believe 301 redirects are the only redirects that actually transfer the link juice to where you would redirect. its also a good way to get any of the stray traffic you may be getting.