Site   Web

December 14, 2008

Reader Rescue: How do I remove my old pages from search engines?

Hi Kalena

I have been updating content and meta tags etc on my website, which was created in dreamweaver and have been checking my listings / ratings through, google, yahoo etc, but am noticing that there are links still to my old website, (of the same domain name) which I removed and replaced earlier this year.  How do I completely remove this content and update my listings?

Any help you can offer will be gratefully received!

many thanks,


Hi Heather

You don’t mention it, but I am assuming that your old website pages were completely removed from your server and that your current pages have different filenames to your old pages?

If the search engines had indexed your old page URls, they will still show up in search results. So how do you get around this? By redirecting all your old page URLs to your new ones. This can be achieved using 301 redirects. Using 301s also happens to be the method recommended by Google if you’re moving domains or page filenames.

While you’re at it, you should also do two other things:

1) Create an updated XML Sitemap and upload it via your Google Webmaster Tools account.

2) Create a custom 404 Error page (you can even make it funny!) to ensure that any searchers clicking on links to your old pages get taken to your new site and are not shown an ugly 404 Not Found Error Page generated from your server.

Hope this helps