I have an ad website. Users can post ads, and they can also renew them (renewing their expiration date). I setup delete rate on user items at 3 month after expiration date, but if users have renewed them, that expiration date will also be renewed.

That all makes me harder to set expiration date for Search Engines, so that they new, when content will become un actual.

How should I cope with such situation?

The only thing that I am thinking about - is to block user ability to renew ad after his ad is inactive for two month and set the expiration date. And after that delete the ad 2-3 month later. Is that an OK solution?


1 Answer 1


Expire meta tag will tell google to delete your page from their database, and so on for every page including the expire meta tag, you are basically telling google that the document isn't valid, your SEO will probably suffer. Don't use expire meta tag!

Websites that serve free ads eventually get extremely popular, so you should think about an automated process of deleting ads older than free trial and deleting ads after paid period ends, It is better for your users to reupload their ads instead of not being indexed by search engines.

Usually websites with free ads, let users use vote links for their ads, and every 24h or 12h or whatever your cookie wants, they can vote for the ad and higher it's position of course there are stickies which have unreal votes and always on top too.

So you have 2 options for the best performance.

One : Make a script which takes care of ads older than trial period, or desired period by the client, and remove them automatically.

Two : Make a vote system and delete ads which doesn't have votes more than x time for example. So the way your ads shows would be defined by the votes they've earned, and stickies would be again always on top.

About the renewal case, you woun't really have a problem with it if you go for the first option and make a script which will delete the ad after the ad expire, and warn your users that they should renew their ad before it expire.

  • But will google treat it well, that a page suddnely dissapears and search leads will be brought to 404 page? (I mean if I automatically delete a page without prior informing Google, how will it cope with this?)
    – naneri
    Commented Mar 7, 2016 at 9:21
  • Google is OK with deleting pages and posts, it will soon recognize your page is deleted you can always make 301 redirect to ensure that google will handle it good, but it isn't a problem for google that you delete your pages overtime a website evolve creating and deleting thousands of pages after all.
    – knif3r
    Commented Mar 7, 2016 at 9:24
  • 1
    "Expire meta tag will tell google to delete your page from their database" - this is not true. The Expires meta tag (or rather the Expires HTTP response header) simply tells caches (browsers, proxies, search engines?) that the cache is stale and the resource should be refetched. That is all. Nothing will be "deleted".
    – MrWhite
    Commented Mar 7, 2016 at 23:40

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