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Question About Removing Url From Google Index Via Webmasters Tools


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3 replies to this topic

#1 shawn26nyc

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Posted 25 November 2014 - 11:48 PM

Hello,


I have a situation. My main site is hosted on SiteGround, which uses cPanel. I moved a second site to SiteGround as an add-on domain temporarily (to perform some tests). cPanel puts the content of the add-on site in a sub-folder of public_html by default.


The developer did not change the location of add-on site content to a sibling of public_html (a great practice). I realized this 3 days after my developer moved (a copy of) the second site to SiteGround, so I deleted the add-on domain and the sub-folder containing all the files right away. However Google had already indexed the second site as a sub-domain of my main site during that time.


So far I have not noticed any damage to SEO ranking of my main site and it's been 10 days. But when I Google site:mainsite.com, I still see pages from the second site indexed as both secondsite.mainsite.com and mainsite.com/secondsite.com

 

It's important to note that I received an email from Webmasters Tools about increased 404 errors 2 days after deleting the add-on domain and its sub-folder. I just checked Google WMT account and its still shows dozens of 404 errors related to pages of the second site.


I am thinking about using the URL Removal tool in Webmasters Tools to have the pages from the second site unindexed. But I am not sure if I'll be able to get secondsite.mainsite.com unindexed via this tool. I am not inclined to 301 redirect secondsite.mainsite.com to secondsite.com as both sites are completely unrelated.


I want to make sure that these 404 errors go away and my main-site does not suffer any damage in Google rankings due to duplicate content SEO penalty.


I would appreciate if anyone can help. Thanks!



#2 chrishirst

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Posted 26 November 2014 - 04:56 AM

 

I want to make sure that these 404 errors go away and my main-site does not suffer any damage in Google rankings due to duplicate content SEO penalty.

No you don't they WILL eventually stop, plus: There is no "penalty" .. it is a FILTER but IF they do not exist at all, how can it be "duplicate content"??

 

 

It's important to note that I received an email from Webmasters Tools about increased 404 errors 2 days after deleting the add-on domain and its sub-folder. I just checked Google WMT account and its still shows dozens of 404 errors related to pages of the second site.

So if the site is not there any longer you WILL get "Not Found" responses HTTP: 404 status code. That IS perfectly normal

 

 

 

But when I Google site:mainsite.com, I still see pages from the second site indexed as both secondsite.mainsite.com and mainsite.com/secondsite.com

It can take YEARS for them to drop out of a site: search.

 

Pay no attention to it. You KNOW why the URLs respond with a 404 status, so there is no problem there, and if the URLs cannot be crawled there is NO content there to be "duplicate"



#3 shawn26nyc

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Posted 26 November 2014 - 10:31 AM

Thanks Chrishirst for a great reply! 

 

So you are saying that doing nothing about dozens of 404 errors in Webmaster Tools will have no negative repercussions? Have you encountered any similar situation yourself in the past?



#4 chrishirst

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Posted 26 November 2014 - 06:48 PM

404 responses are part and parcel of life on the Internet, things change and a 404 is the correct response if a page is not there any longer. A 404 status actually indicates that this is, or may be a temporary situation and any caching user agent should check the status periodically. If you are taking a URL down permanently, your server should return a 410 status (GONE) for requests for that URL and because it is a normal part of website management there ARE NO PENALTIES for removing URLs that are no longer required. And there are no bonus points for keeping URLs active just because you can.

 

Of course I have, if you take a website down completely and only redirect or replace a small portion of the URLs "Not Found" responses are par for the course.






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