I run a website with photo galleries. Each photo gallery contains at least 100 to 500 photos on their own individual pages and If I delete a gallery then without creating any special configuration, Google Webmaster Tools will naturally print out 404 status codes about the pages related to the gallery I deleted in the crawl errors section. If I delete a few photo galleries then that's well over 1,000 links that will become 404's, and I'll have to wait at least 24 hours to deal with all of them since Google only allows me to see up to 1,000 links at a time.
I would like to know which of these approaches are better to handle the problem:
Do I Map error URL's to one central page?
Currently, I map all non-existing URLs that I don't plan to have exist in the future to a common URL which returns an HTTP 410 error page. The upside to this is that I won't have to wait weeks for Google to list every individual page, but the drawback is that the common error page keeps reappearing in the crawl errors even tho I indicated to Google that I fixed the error and another drawback is minor performance hits by literally redirecting guests from the error URL to the common error page.
Or do I just issue errors as they happen?
My other option is to forget about the common page and when a URL is a problem URL, then just show the default status 410 error page instead of redirecting URLs to a URL that represents the error page. The upside to this is that the server takes less of a performance hit, but for every URL that results in an error, Google will print it in the crawl errors section of Webmaster tools, and waiting weeks just to clear errors with HTTP status 410 is a waste of time.
My question is which approach is better and why?
I'm not asking for opinions here. I'm asking for an answer that would give me an overall positive impact (including adsense income).