Most SEOs Say Redirect, Not 404, When Pruning Old Content


Cyrus Shepard posted a poll on Twitter asking SEOs what is better to do when pruning old content, to 301 redirect or 404 the page. That is if the page cannot be updated to have better content, what do you do? Either (a) Noindex/Remove (noindex, 404, 410) or (b) 301 Redirect to a relevant, better page.

I was surprised by the results, I have to be honest. Almost 800 responses and 77% said you should go the 301 redirect route.

What’s your vote? When pruning old content, is it better to:

• Noindex/Remove (noindex, 404, 410)
• 301 Redirect to a relevant, better page

(assuming the content can’t be refreshed/improved)

— Cyrus (@CyrusShepard) April 10, 2019

I guess like much of SEO the answer would be “it depends.” You’d have to really review the content on the old page and compare that to the page you want to redirect it to. If there is enough of a match, then sure – 301 it. But if it isn’t close enough, a 404 would make more sense. But I guess, the question is, how much is enough overlap?

Not too long ago we saw many SEOs say they blanket 301 pages to the home

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