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Madeleine

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In doing the new website I am eliminating about 20 pages that were on the old site. Question - these pages have Google history and do occasionally get hits. Should I redirect all of these pages to the home page of the new site? Otherwise, anyone who finds one of them gets a page not found error. I'd rather they didn't get that.
I'm still up in the air as to whether or not I want to keep these pages. I could combine 15 of them into one single page but that still requires a redirect. It's amazing what is buried in an old site. Like going thru the attic when you move!
 

Scott

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Technically the answer depends on the content. If the content is elsewhere, you can create a redirect (301 would be appropriate - "Moved Permanently") to the page that now has that content.
If the content is simply gone (like dated material after the time has passed), you would use a 410 redirect (the server sends back a code saying the content is "Gone" meaning it no longer exists and there is no appropriate redirect.
The key is to avoid a 404 (Not found) code for the old content. Either of the above will accomplish that.
 

swirt

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If that content is even similarly elsewhere, 301 redirect it to that new location... even if what was once a full page is now just a paragraph on some other page. History is the one thing you can't buy back so it is best to preserve it if you can.
I, of course, would ask why get rid of a page you once had? (rhetorical question... but consider it carefully) One possible option, again based on the content this might make no sense... If the page you got rid of would be fine to sit in your blog, copy it to your blog, and back-date it to long ago, so it doesn't populate your current blog posts, then redirect to that post. That way you maintain the content, and pass the history to your blog.
 

Madeleine

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If that content is even similarly elsewhere, 301 redirect it to that new location... even if what was once a full page is now just a paragraph on some other page. History is the one thing you can't buy back so it is best to preserve it if you can.
I, of course, would ask why get rid of a page you once had? (rhetorical question... but consider it carefully) One possible option, again based on the content this might make no sense... If the page you got rid of would be fine to sit in your blog, copy it to your blog, and back-date it to long ago, so it doesn't populate your current blog posts, then redirect to that post. That way you maintain the content, and pass the history to your blog..
I decided to combine all of the old pages I was wondering about into one page. I will redirect all of those old URL's to one new one.
Good idea about putting this info in the blog! I might do that with some of the info that doesn't get a lot of traffic but still gets some. And it makes more sense in the blog than where it is, but I didn't have a blog back then!
Dang. Maybe I should put all of those pages in the blog. (Now that I've copied half of them. At least I didn't do all of them and then decide to copy them again!)
 
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