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?


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).

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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.

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  • 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? – Arseni Mourzenko 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

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