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  1. #1
    baldidiot is offline Private Member
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    Default Removing pages whilst moving domains - 404 before or after?

    Another site merger question for you guys and gals. I'm combining one large site (1000+ pages) with a medium site (~350 pages) under a new name (for various reasons). On the large site there are lots of pages which don't really fit with the new site so want them gone (ie: they're not going to be moved to the new site - adds up to a couple of hundred maybe).

    So, my question is - given the above is it better to a) 404 the pages on the old site first, wait until they're removed and then 301 the site to the new domain or b) 301 the site and then 404 the redirected pages on the new site. Or c) does it not matter?
    onlinegamblingwebsites.com - Formally known as goodbonusguide.

  2. #2
    -Shay- is offline Public Member
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    If they do not belong on the new site, I'd remove the pages before beginning the merger. My guess is that you feel strongly that there's some reason they do not belong. If that is the case, then you probably don't want to associate the pages with the new site in any capacity.

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  4. #3
    baldidiot is offline Private Member
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    Cheers bud, that's what I was leaning towards.

    It's things like articles that aren't really relevant to the new project, promo posts from 5 years ago, reviews for brands that I no longer promote/have closed etc... Currently they're all archived, but still on site (ie: the pages still load, but don't show up anywhere other than the archives).
    onlinegamblingwebsites.com - Formally known as goodbonusguide.

  5. #4
    Celebrationbird is offline Restricted Account
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    Remove pages first (y)

  6. #5
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    universal4 is offline Forum Administrator
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    Whether you remove the pages before or after the move, it is important to 301 redirect them in htaccess as soon as they are removed.

    Doing it before a move to a new domain, just simplifies the process of moving to a new domain I would think as it would be fewer pages to keep track of etc...

    In the case of merging pages or page content because they are quite similar, I would think the cannonical tag would be helpful here in some cases, but I would think that a 301 would also be needed in some cases.

    Rick
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  7. #6
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    I would personally remove the unwanted pages from the old site and 301 the rest of the site to the new location.

  8. #7
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    Yes, but if you do not 301 pages that are removed, it will look for them on the new domain if you 301 the entire site with a variable of oldpage_olddomain/oldpage_newdomain

    This would cause a bunch of 404's on the new domain the day of launch

    Rick
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  9. #8
    baldidiot is offline Private Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by universal4 View Post
    Yes, but if you do not 301 pages that are removed, it will look for them on the new domain if you 301 the entire site with a variable of oldpage_olddomain/oldpage_newdomain

    This would cause a bunch of 404's on the new domain the day of launch
    If I do remove them first (which seems to be the consensus and also what I was leaning towards) then I would 404 and wait until they dropped out of the google index before 301'ing the site. The pages are just being removed entirely (not merged etc..) so I do just want them gone.
    onlinegamblingwebsites.com - Formally known as goodbonusguide.

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  11. #9
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    martinseomcgarry is offline Private Member
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    If you want them gone from the index entirely you need to render a 410 code via your htaccess file. A 404 is an error code, so Google will recrawl that page many times thinking that the site may come back eventually.

    A 410 literally means 'Gone' which tells Google that the content has been completely removed and will never return. 410 the pages that you believe have no future value, 301 to the new site if pages have value like serp ranking or backlinks

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