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One of the most common issues that crop up in the process of building a website is the failure to keep the site clean and orderly. Lack of orderliness can lead to a situation in which the site loses points with the various search engines. Here are several examples of negative results that can follow a lack of site tidiness:

Non-existing pages

Sometimes pages are set up in a website but, with time, they become irrelevant and are deleted from the server. At the same time, search engines are not eager to delete pages from their records, and therefore such pages may be left on the web as ghost pages for months and even years.

There are two ways of solving this problem. The first is to create a permanent redirection from the irrelevant pages to pages that are in use or to the homepage. This way, anyone searching for information on the old pages will be automatically redirected to new, relevant pages. Search engines that come across pages with a permanent redirection will also eventually remove these pages from their index (although this process takes time).

For further information regarding permanent redirection see:

Permanent Redirect

A second way to solve the problem of irrelevant pages is provided by Google, and it enables site owners to remove pages that no longer exist on the server. This tool by Google allows removing URLs by one of the following three ways:

  • Removing a page that no longer exists on the server: in order to remove pages this way, these pages must really not exist. Pages that still exist on the server cannot be removed with this option.
  • Removing pages by preventing access to them using the robots.txt file.
  • Removing pages by preventing access through a special meta tag intended for search robots.

For readers that are interested in further information regarding possibilities 2 and 3, please refer to additional articles in our website in:

Google's page removing tools:

Automatic page remover

Broken Links

In many cases, certain site pages will include links to other pages or sites that are no longer available. These links are called "broken links" in professional language, and are 'dead ends' for the search engines.

One of the ways that search engines evaluate Internet pages is according to the number of broken links in it. More broken links indicate that the specific page has not been updated for a while. For this reason, it is recommended that each site undergo a periodical check of the site's pages in order to find and remove broken links.

Non-Friendly Error Pages

If your site contains many pages that no longer exist, and at the same time contains pages with links to these old pages, you should seriously consider creating a version of the error page friendlier than the one provided by most of hosting companies. A friendlier error page is especially essential in cases where non-existent pages still appear in search engines.

A friendly error page may contain a message informing that the requested page no longer exists, and at the same time can suggest several options for the surfer to choose from. The error page can also simply contain an automatic redirection to the homepage. This way you can still attract those users who would otherwise come against a non-friendly error page, and retain them as customers.

A customer that couldn't find you is your competitor's customer..

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