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Removing Posts with SEO in Mind: How to Do It Right

If you’re interested in the world of SEO, you may not be familiar with the best practices for removing posts with SEO in mind in WordPress. Here’s a simple guide to help you navigate the topic.

The current article is "8.12. Removing Posts with SEO" of our Complete SEO Guide Box.
Previous Article: 8.11. Content Posting Frequency. Next Article: 9.1. Ad Network vs Affiliate Links

Removing Posts with SEO on the New Website

When your site is entirely new, removing posts is less relevant. When you have much content on your site and gain more experience and understanding of your content and what you already have, you will probably understand there is no choice but to reorganize content and remove some posts.

Why Updating Posts Is Better Than Removing

Before diving into the basics of deleting posts, it’s crucial to understand why updating existing content is often a better option. Every post you publish contributes to your site’s authority, user engagement, and search engine rankings. Instead of removing a post, consider updating it with fresh, accurate information. You can keep your post’s existing search rankings and traffic while providing valuable content to your readers. In addition, there can be sites that are linking to the specific post. Removing the post will result in 404 errors on their site, lowering your credibility as site manager.

Here’s how you can update your posts:

Keep the original URL.
Review and update the post’s keywords.
Rewrite outdated content or add new information.
Update the post’s title and meta description.
Share the updated post on social media.

Why Permanently Redirect with 301 Instead of Removing Posts

When removing posts with SEO in mind, a 301 redirect is a powerful tool. A 301 redirect itself is a permanent redirection from one URL to another, ensuring that anyone visiting the old URL is automatically taken to the new URL. Using a 301 redirect, you preserve the SEO value of the original post, including backlinks and search engine rankings.

If you remove the post without a redirect, you risk losing the SEO benefits associated with that post. Visitors trying to access the removed post will encounter a “404 Not Found” error, which will lead to an undesired and poor user experience and, in turn, will drop your website’s search engine rankings. By using a 301 redirect, you maintain your site’s SEO performance and provide a seamless browsing experience for your users.

Why Setting a 410 Status is Important When Removing a Post

Deciding to remove a post might be necessary for various reasons, such as when the content is no longer relevant or accurate. In these cases, setting a 410 status code for the post link is crucial for SEO purposes.

A 410 status code tells search engines that the page has been intentionally removed and is gone for good. This differs from a 404 status, indicating that the page is not found and might return. Using a 410 status code, you’re explicitly communicating to search engines that the content should be de-indexed and removed from their search results. This prevents users from encountering dead-end links in search results and ensures that your website’s remaining content is more likely to be relevant and up-to-date.

Ultimately, setting a 410 status code helps maintain a positive user experience and fosters trust with your visitors while aligning with best practices for removing posts with SEO considerations in mind.

If you set a 410 status code for a post (URL), you need to understand that it can take time (a month in some cases) to remove the URL from SERPs. If you remove the post from WordPress, it will still be available in SERPs, and users clicking it in SERPs will navigate to an empty page on your website. You can eliminate this by using the Removal feature in Google Search Console. This feature hides the URL for six months. In this period (probably sooner), Google will recrawl the URL, get the 410 code, and remove the post from the index. Check our Google Search Console Usage Guide for the details.

Why Yoast SEO Plugin Premium Redirection Feature is the Best Option for 301 and 410 Redirects

Yoast SEO Premium is an excellent choice when implementing 301 permanent redirects and 410 status codes for removed posts. Yoast SEO Premium has a user-friendly Redirection feature, simplifying creating and managing redirects.

The intuitive interface lets you quickly set up 301 redirects or 410 status codes, ensuring you can efficiently handle post removals without negatively impacting your site’s SEO. Another advantage of Yoast SEO Premium is automatically detecting URL changes within your site.

When you delete a post or change a URL, Yoast prompts you to create a 410 status code for that post, ensuring no broken links are left behind – the same works for categories, tags, and pages since all of them are URLs.

Additionally, Yoast SEO Premium offers insightful redirect management tools. As a result, Yoast SEO Premium is not only a comprehensive SEO solution but also an invaluable tool for managing redirects and post removals, ensuring a smooth user experience and preserving your website’s search engine rankings.

Other Redirection WordPress Plugins

In the past, we tried several other free redirection plugins. Some versions didn’t work, and some stopped after the update. Since we already use the Premium Yoast SEO version, it has the best value and functions as intended.


Removing posts with SEO best practices in mind involves updating posts whenever possible, using 301 redirects for valuable content, and applying a 410 status code for intentionally removed posts. Following these guidelines helps maintain your site’s authority and search engine rankings while providing users with up-to-date, valuable content.

The current article is "8.12. Removing Posts with SEO" of our Complete SEO Guide Box.
Previous Article: 8.11. Content Posting Frequency. Next Article: 9.1. Ad Network vs Affiliate Links


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