Sometimes a webpage should be removed from your site, but it isn’t advisable to just delete that page. That could cause a drop in your SEO rankings and make your website less user-friendly. This post will explain when you should remove a webpage and how to do it wisely.
When To Remove a Webpage?
There are several reasons you might want to remove a page from your website:
- The content is outdated.
- You no longer offer the service or product the page advertises.
- You have duplicate content on your site.
Pages like this serve no useful purpose and could lower your Google search ranking.
Why Removing a Webpage Could Be Bad
If your webpage ranks well on search engines, it could harm your site’s overall ranking to remove it. If there are other pages on your site or external sites linking to your webpage and you remove them, users will land on a 404 page. This means they didn’t find what they were looking for and received an error message instead. They will leave your website frustrated, harming your brand’s reputation and your website’s SEO.
Options on How to Correctly Remove a Webpage
First, consider if you can edit or rewrite the page so that it is more beneficial rather than remove it. This is the best option if it can possibly be done. You have to be able to genuinely refresh or update the content to something people would find helpful while looking for the page’s main keywords or clicking on links to that page. If a page is outdated, can it be made more evergreen by making a few changes?
Is there another page on your site that would be a suitable replacement? It needs to fit the keyword the other page is ranked for and make sense to both users and Google. Sometimes, redirecting users to a category or parent page on your website would make the most sense. If you can’t find any other page to substitute as replacement content, you can redirect the URL to the homepage. These redirects happen instantly and prevent the dreaded 404-error message.
Delete the Page
Yes, you can delete a page. However, this option should only be considered if there isn’t a suitable replacement and you can’t update the page for some reason. Users will automatically be sent to a 404 webpage telling them that your page couldn’t be found.
The best thing to do is offer your visitor something useful to do on the page, a link to click on or a phone number to call.
In this case, Google should eventually remove the deleted page from search rankings so people won’t find it anymore. You can speed up this process by applying a 410 status code to the page. This will notify Google that there isn’t just a problem with the page; it has been permanently removed. You’ll want to create a custom 410 page like the 404 page to give visitors something to do when they click the broken link.
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