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I have recently updated my website. In fact I have completely rewritten it using wordpress. It was originally constructed using ASP. In the process, I have recycled a a large amount of my original website.

This resulted in a large amount of broken links. Google webmaster tools report more than 30000 broken links and most of them are internal. These mainly result from there being reported links to urls not used anymore. That is links to scrapped, obsolete url from the previous version that does not exist any more.

From SEO perspective I have read that if 404 errors are from internal links, it is best to delete the links. When I click on a broken link from the list displayed at health-> crawl errors, google shows me where this broken link appears at 'linked from' tab. When I click on links from 'linked from' , the purported broken link is not displayed on the 'linked from' page. That is the users of my website has no chance of trying to load this broken link. The broken link still shows up in page source. i.e. when i try view page source from chrome. The broken link is usually used in some javascript

To clafiry, let www.myhomepage/broken_link be the broken link reported by google webmaster tools. The google 'linked from' tab shows that this url was linked from www.myhomepage/some_other_page.

When I view the page source, the broken link is usually in

[script type="text/javascript"]var _bpfbRootUrl="www.myhomepage/broken_link";[/script]

Again, i read that it is advisable to just delete internal broken links, but there are just so many of them and it would be very time consuming to manually delete each and every of them.

What would be the best way to deal with this situation? I would like to avoid using custom 404 page. 302 does not seem like an option either, parsing url using regular expression to not redirect valid pages seem very complicated too

Google webmaster tools report that index on my page had been sharply declining since it was rewritten with wordpress and dropped to 10% of original.

Thank You.

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If you have completely rewritten your website on a different platform/in a different language, how is your website returning so many 404's currently? A 404 can only be returned if a link to a dead URL is followed, so where are these links, internal / external? If they are internal, how come a complete website rewrite didn't take care of these, what kind of pages contain the links, are they contextual (in body) links? If so, using mod_rewrite in .htaccess will rewrite all the URL's so they follow the new URL structure of if there truly is no equivalent content, just 301 redirect all. –  zigojacko May 24 '13 at 9:30
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From SEO perspective I have read that if 404 errors are from internal links, it is best to delete the links.

Where did you read that? That's just plain wrong. Make sure that ALL your obsolete links are properly redirected to the next best possible match. At least make the links redirect to some page of yours, so you won't lose linkjuice.

parsing url using regular expression to not redirect valid pages seem very complicated too

Doesn't have to be complicated. It really depends on your website structure and how the broken links are built. It's impossible to say without seeing the links. If you can provide some more details about these broken links, we might be able to help.

In fact I have completely rewritten it using wordpress.

If you are using Wordpress, there is a marvelous plugin, called SEO Ultimate. It comes pre-packages with a 404-Monitor which is able to automatically redirect found 404 error to the next best match page within your Wordpress installation.

Google webmaster tools report that index on my page had been sharply declining since it was rewritten with wordpress and dropped to 10% of original.

This can mean anything, really. Did you code your Wordpress theme yourself? Did you buy it somewhere? Is is properly SEO'ed? Does it have Meta-information, microformats, alt- and title-attributes to links, is it properly coded, etc.? Perhaps the site is just set to noindex. Possibilities for declining SEO performance can be many ...

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Thank you for your reply. I have checked against your answer For your last paragraph, I have doing all those things with Yoast plugin. The site I checked again is not set to no-index. Wordpress theme is 'jobroller' which I got from app themese. Another problem is that it seems SEO Ultimate cannot be used alongside with Yoast. Maybe I could uninstall yoast plugin for a while. I read from some page published by google themselves stating that if 404 is from broken internal link, just delete them. –  user45979 May 27 '13 at 7:09
    
The main reason I have broken link seem to be as follows Originally, when it was designed with ASP, I had other websties that had 'blogs' . My main site had backlinks from the blogs. When the main site was deleted and replaced by wordpress the backlinks still remained and ares till pointing to non-existing addresses in my old site. –  user45979 May 27 '13 at 7:11
    
Can I email you some screenshots from google analytics? –  user45979 May 27 '13 at 7:12
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