[thelist] Correct procedure for removing files from a site

Bob Meetin bobm at dottedi.biz
Wed Oct 13 10:12:04 CDT 2010

Alex Beston wrote:
> well, the content has been superseded but there are references to the
> old content on google. isnt it polite to search engine users to not
> delete files? should I leave the files but remove the content
> replacing a meta redirect eg 301?
Assuming you still have the list of old files, links, you can probably 
do something like this in your .htaccess:

RewriteRule old_file.html[php, etc]  new_file.html [R=301,L]

If a file doesn't really have a new version, redirect to home or another 
page.  If there is/was a very consistent naming pattern between old and 
new you can possibly set up a pattern matching rule and thus not have to 
mess with adding a line for each file.  Someone else can better advise 
you there.

What you do depends on whether there is need to keep the old files 
around, do they have value that has not been superceded?.  Perhaps 
transition them out.  Check google every week or so to see if the 
spiders have done their job before removing or archiving them.


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