My task is to redirect ("301 redirection") 20 groups of 100 pages (2000 pages) with duplicate content to 20 pages in inner blog at the same domain. I know how to do it but is it a good idea from SEO perspective, or it is a bad practice?

  • Is it "natural" to redirect these 100 pages to a single page? Are those 100 pages no longer required? Is the content related? Is this a benefit to users? If these 2000 pages are currently indexed then I imagine you would at least suffer the same SEO-hit as reducing a 2000 page site to just 20 pages. (?) – MrWhite Jul 4 '14 at 13:12
  • 1.These 100 pages have duplicate content so we decided to redirect them to the blog articles. 2.They are not so required 3.Not really related content 4.No, but we suspect it would be good for SEO 5.Yes, they are already indexed – user2546940 Jul 4 '14 at 13:50
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    If your directing to non-relevant pages then yes it can be considered a bad practice as this dampens user experience which Google highly recommends you only 301 when its useful to the user, not simply to satisfy a non 404, or 410 gone. – Simon Hayter Jul 4 '14 at 14:11
  • So as I understand it is better to delete pages than to redirect them to blog articles. – user2546940 Jul 4 '14 at 14:57
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    If they longer no exist and you don't have a relevant page then yes... 404 not found, or 410 gone is the correct status. Google has repeatedly said that 404s are completely normal. – Simon Hayter Jul 4 '14 at 15:32

In my personal opinion, I would say it won't harm your SEO.

As internal pages, you can have a good reason for doing all these redirects, for example:

  • removing a module of your site
  • stop selling a category of products
  • ...

That's why I think search engines can't penalize your site for this.

However, think about applying these redirects to a relevant page in relation to these 100 ones. If you don't find a relevant pages for the redirects, just remove all of them and send a Gone 410 HTTP status.

  • What about duplicate content. For example I will have 100 pages redirected to one. So they all will have the same content. Am I right? – user2546940 Jul 4 '14 at 12:35
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    Duplicate content is an issue when pages are indexed. When you 301-redirect 100 pages to 1, you will only have 1 page indexed by search engines (these 100 pages won't be indexed anymore). Therefore, no duplicate content issues. – Zistoloen Jul 4 '14 at 12:46
  • I agree with @Zistoloen to a point. Depending upon how many and how valuable links to these pages are, you will want to remove the 301 after a period and do a 404 (easiest) or a 410. The reason for this is simple. They remain in the index, though pushed down in the SERPs and will eventually negatively effect SEO by diluting keyword potential. I just removed about 187,000 301(s) and replaced them with 404. 301 redirects in most cases are good in that they inform spiders that a page has moved, but if the page is actually gone, then a 404 or 410 will tell the correct story. – closetnoc Jul 4 '14 at 17:09
  • @closetnoc, Infact when a page is 301 redirected it will over time be removed from the index, so there is no problem with leaving redirects on for ever. This is particularly important should any of the removed pages have backlinks pointing to them, as the link will always point to the page and pass over any 'juice' – Max Jul 6 '14 at 23:40
  • @Max, that is not true. The original page MUST remain in the index to pass link value. What happens is, the indexed 301 page is pushed down in the SERPs to nearly invisible. As a case in point, while I had 187,000 pages with 301 redirect, any site:domain.com search would result in exactly 187,000 more pages than I actually had. Today, this number is dropping exactly in sync as Google discovers the 404 errors for these 187,000 pages. – closetnoc Jul 7 '14 at 0:15

There are two options for you here:

  1. Serve the URLs with a 404 and 410. This way, you are informing the world (and google) that those pages are gone. If there are links to those pages, this step would make sure that you loose any page rank and traffic you got from those links. However, since you already mentioned that those pages were having duplicate content, I assume that those pages did not really offer you any SEO boost to start with.

  2. Redirect those pages to the 20 pages you mentioned. This would make sure that you preserve the traffic, and a part of the page rank(!). How much page rank would 301 redirects pass is still a question of debate. However, I assume that it is better than nil. Also, you need to have a properly configured canonical links on those 20 pages. If you ensure that, then there won't be any issues with duplicate content. It is a common practice to redirect deleted URLs to home page, and as such won't hurt as long as you let them know that it is a different page altogether.

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