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How to Utilize your Old Indexed Pages July 7, 2007

Posted by seonotes in On-page Optimization.

Now that most webmasters have upgraded their websites using Content Management Systems or CMS, they often face the dilemma of finding out that some of their old pages (that they no longer want the visitors to see) are still up there indexed by Google.

How do you bring out a positive out of this negative situation?

Keep in mind that this is not exactly a negative situation especially when the “old unwanted pages” are getting good rankings from the search engines. You can benefit from this in 2 ways:

1. Applying 301 redirect, or what they call as permanent redirection. That way you lead visitors to your newly-made pages as you benefit from the good rankings of the old pages. Good rankings = good CTRs (click-through-rates) more often than not. 301 redirect is SEO-friendly, and the most recommended method.

2. Now if you are optimizing someone else’s site and you find irrelevant pages (out of the niche or something) that you think must be removed, simply delete these unwanted pages/files, and create a custom 404 page. The 404 page must be customized in such a way that:

a. It has the presentation feel of your website’s theme.

b. Your visitors will follow an obvious link to your most important page, or the most relevant page in relation to the old page that you want to delete.

A custom 404 page or Error Page achieves 3 things:

  • It benefits you from the old pages’ probable clicks from visitors.
  • It provides a link going to your most important page (or which ever page you want people to visit).
  • Traffic from broken links that you might have in the future will be safely rescued because of the obvious link in your 404 page.


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