Removing web pages is a common occurrence for website owners. However, it’s important to do so in a way that doesn’t harm your search engine rankings.
There are a few different ways to remove web pages without damaging your SEO. The best method for you will depend on the specific situation.
1. Redirect the page
If you’re removing a page that is still relevant to your website, you can redirect it to a new page on your site. This will tell search engines that the old page has been moved, and they will update their index accordingly.
To redirect a page, you’ll need to add a 301 redirect to your website’s code. This will tell search engines that the old page has been permanently moved to the new page.
2. Use a noindex tag
If you’re removing a page that is no longer relevant to your website, you can use a noindex tag to tell search engines not to index it. This will prevent the page from appearing in search results.
To add a noindex tag to a page, you’ll need to add the following code to the page’s header:
<meta name="robots" content="noindex">
Use code with caution.
3. Remove the page from your sitemap
If you’re removing a page from your website, you should also remove it from your sitemap. This will help to ensure that search engines don’t try to index the page.
To remove a page from your sitemap, you’ll need to edit your sitemap file and remove the URL of the page you’re removing.
4. Use a 410 Gone response code
If you’re removing a page that is no longer available, you can use a 410 Gone response code. This will tell search engines that the page has been permanently removed and should be removed from their index.
To use a 410 Gone response code, you’ll need to add the following code to your website’s code:
HTTP/1.1 410 Gone
Use code with caution.
Which method is right for you?
The best method for removing a web page without damaging your search rankings will depend on the specific situation. If you’re not sure which method to use, you can consult with an SEO professional.
Here are some additional tips for removing web pages without damaging your search rankings:
- Make sure to update your internal linking structure. If you remove a page, you’ll need to make sure that any other pages on your site that link to the removed page are updated to link to a new page instead.
- Monitor your search engine rankings. After you remove a page, you should monitor your search engine rankings to make sure that they don’t decline. If you see a decline in your rankings, you may need to take additional steps to improve your SEO.
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