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I bought an auctioned domain to build my new project, from my analysis with Ahrefs, people that were behind this domain had a subdomain called "forum" for their forum, and somehow they didn't know how to protect it so there's thousands of spam threads (pharmacy, drugs and so forth), and probably they deleted the subdomain afterwords, if Googlebot ever fetch those links, it'll receive 404, but I want to 410 the whole subdomain to deliberately say I deleted this subdomain, I know if I had 404 Googlebot will go back to it a few times until it count it as 410, but I really want to 410 if it's possible and I have no clue how to do that.

The main domain is built using WordPress and I have Yoast premium plugin. Server is Nginx with Siteground but I have no access to it. I tried .htaccess that's located inside the WordPress installation but I have no clue what to type in it exactly.

Last thing that is strange, all these subdomains URLs had thousands of thread spams:

  • http://ww1.forum.example.com/
  • http://forum.example.com/
  • http://ww17.forum.example.com/
  • http://ww38.forum.example.com/
  • http://www.forum.example.com/
  • http://ww11.forum.example.com/
  • http://ww35.forum.example.com/
  • So to clarify, these "deleted" subdomains still resolve? (Or rather, you've explicitly configured these subdomains to resolve?) But why? There's nothing that says "forget about me quickly" more than a hostname that doesn't actually resolve. – MrWhite Nov 15 '18 at 15:33
  • Are you having a wildcard DNS for the domain, so whatever.example.com still resolve? Have you just deleted the subdomain, but a long TTL is keeping the subdomain up cached? – Lenne Nov 15 '18 at 23:38
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    I didn't configure anything to be honest, i just bought the domain and i did an ahrefs backlink profile analysis, i was trying to make a clean list of urls of the most juiced pages that they had to 301 redirect them to the homepage (in the future i'll create relevant posts and 301 redirect relevant posts to them) and so i found out about what i mentioned, i just was worrying about google crawling those and find tons of 404, so i wanted to 410 the whole subdomain, but it turns out that i lack knowledge. – Abderrahim Lahrach Nov 16 '18 at 14:47
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    Since if the subdomains are not created by "me" again, they won't have any DNS and thus server not found, and like Simon Hayter said, i won't have to worry about http code response cause googlebot won't even get that far to begin with. so i guess deleting subdomains and making sure they don't resolve will do the job. and no i don't have a wildcard DNS. Thanks guys for the comments. – Abderrahim Lahrach Nov 16 '18 at 14:50
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if googlebot ever fetch those links, it'll receive 404

If Googlebot receives a 404 response when fetching those links, that means the subdomains were not properly deleted. Make sure there are no DNS entries whatsoever for those subdomains, so that neither you nor any bots get any server response back at all.

To answer the other part of your question, there is no reason to put up a server to respond to those URLs with 410 GONE. The fact that no server responds at all is enough to tell the search engines, and anybody else who might visit, that the pages no longer exist and should no longer be indexed.

  • Thank you for your comment, i checked the subdomains with dnschecker.org, i checked CNAME, A and AAAA, they are all not resolved. so i'm pretty safe. – Abderrahim Lahrach Nov 16 '18 at 14:42
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Since those subdomains 'should' no longer exist or should be deleted, both users and bots will simply get a "server not found" response, this error will not be reported by your server or Google because without a CNAME or A/AAAA record a sub domain will not resolve to an IP meaning it doesn't even get that far to issue a 404 or 410, leave it that way.

  • Thank you for your comment, i checked the subdomains with dnschecker.org, i checked CNAME, A and AAAA, they are all not resolved. so i'm pretty safe. and you're right, i don't have to deal with any http code response if the server itself is not found which comes at the macro level, thank you again Simon – Abderrahim Lahrach Nov 16 '18 at 14:43

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