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I tried to create a 410 error page but realized that I actually created a 302 redirect to a 410.php page. Instead I want to use a 410 error to block out an infinite number of dynamically created pages that are being indexed by Google. I have about 30k internal links that are indexed on Google thanks to a faulty internal search engine:

  • http://www.example.com/?searchkey=1_q
  • http://www.example.com/?searchkey=2ak - (etc... goes on for 30k times)

What should I write in htaccess to block anything with this "searchkey" parameter such that a 410 error page is served? (I'm not a programmer, so I would appreciate a simplified response.)

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You could do this using the following rewrite rule in .htaccess:

RewriteEngine on 
RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} searchkey
RewriteRule .* - [G,L]
  • .* means that it will do this for any URL on your site (as long as the condition of having "searchkey" in the query string is met)
  • - means to leave the URL alone and not change it
  • G means "Gone" -- send the 410 status
  • L means "Last" -- so that no other rewrite rules are executed

Since you have a custom 410 gone page, you could also use the following .htaccess directive to show it instead of the default 410 gone error page:

ErrorDocument 410 /410.php
  • Thanks for the solution & helping me rephrase my question, worked great! – dannyboy222 Feb 23 '14 at 13:37

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