Adding or editing content and pages is one thing, but what happens when you need to remove pages from your website? You just press the delete button and poof it's gone - right?
Yes, but did you consider the consequences of removing content?Remember, SEO (search engine optimization) is based on providing good quality content. Search engines are actively crawling websites and web pages for new content to serve users who make specific searches.
When you remove web pages, you have now removed a valid link to useful content on your website. What this means for users, is they won’t be provided with content relevant to their search. For search engines, they see that you are serving them a broken link, which will hinder your SEO efforts.
What should you do when you need to remove content from your website?Deleting pages from your website is fine, and inevitable over time as you look to update and make changes. A website is never “finished,” it’s an ongoing and evolving element, like your business itself. To properly remove pages from your website you should set up 301 redirects.
According to Wikipedia, a 301 redirect is defined as follows:
The HTTP response status code 301 Moved Permanently is used for permanent redirecting, meaning that links or records returning this response should be updated. The new URL should be provided in the Location field, included with the response.
To summarize, when you remove a web page, you must update a configuration file on your webserver to ‘permanently redirect’ any traffic that comes to the removed page to a different relevant page. Over time, as search engines continue to crawl your website, they will recognize that a page has been removed, and no longer provide it as a search result.
While the exact format of your redirect will vary from site to site and server to server, the principle will remain the same. You can always consult the Web Developer for your website should you have questions.
If you have a website that needs updating and you don’t know where to start, let us know. We have experience not only in designing and developing websites, but we can help make sure the changes made are SEO-friendly.
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