Webmasters Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for pro webmasters. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'm about to remove a large part of a website in order to replace it by a better alternative which, unfortunately, cannot be mapped to older URIs with URL rewriting.

The part of the website I want to remove is indexed by Google.

Would Google penalize me for removing indexed pages?

share|improve this question
up vote 3 down vote accepted

No. Google won't penalize your site for removing a part of it, you can do it.

However, if you can't redirect old URLs from the new ones, mark your old URLs as Gone (410 HTTP status) with an .htaccess file (if you use Apache as a web server).

share|improve this answer

Yes, Google will penalize for removing indexed pages. If you remove the indexed pages, it will show a 404 not found error. You will have to redirect the removed page URL's to relevant pages of your website. I understand that you might be facing some limitations. But, it's a must.

If you don't do it, 404 not found error list will keep growing in the webmaster account which isn't a good sign.

share|improve this answer
Thank you for your answer. Unfortunately, another answer is opposite to yours. May you, please, comment on that, or edit your answer to include references? – MainMa Mar 20 '14 at 20:26
It will penalize (or rather remove) those specific urls, it wont penalize the ranking of your site overall. – Octopus Mar 20 '14 at 22:11

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.