Do I redirect that page? Do I leave it? How do you know the best way forward? Take a look at the tool we’ve created and follow the steps to decide whether you should redirect a page or not as well as understand any other depending factors to take into consideration.

A Page is removed.

Will the page return?
Is it linked to internally?
Is it linked to externally?
Can you get the link changed?
Does the page get SEO traffic?
Remove Menu or Navigation references until it returns - No Redirect.
Update link or remove references
Contact site and update / remove link. Ensure link is removed in your XML sitemap.
Ensure page is removed from your XML sitemap - No Redirect
Create a 301 redirect to relevant live page and remove old version from your XML sitemap
Ensure page is removed from your XML sitemap - 301 redirect to relevant live page

How do I find out if my old page is linked externally?

There are a few tools you can try, our firm favourite is Majestic. You can simply add the URL into the box and it will show you if it has any backlinks. You can then judge whether or not you can contact them to change/remove the link or not.

How do I find out if my old page is linked internally?

There are a couple of tools to find this out and depending on the size of the site or your wallet you can take your pick. Our favourite is Screaming Frog as with this you can add the page you’re looking for into the custom search feature and it will pull all the pages that have that link on them into a simple list. (The custom extraction feature is paid but well worth the price for all the other features combined) If you have a Mac, then Integrity is a cool one but be warned, it may lead you down a broken/redirected link rabbit hole!

How do I know if the page gets SEO Traffic?

Nice and easy one here as long as you have Google Analytics installed and set up on the site. Simply navigate to the Behaviour section on the left, then click ‘Site Content’ and finally ‘All Pages’. Once that’s loaded then add the page path you’re looking for in the search box (take out the http and the www’s as appropriate leaving /folder/page/) then click on the ‘Secondary Dimension’ drop down and pick ‘Medium’. You’ll then be able to see over a given period how many ‘Organic’ referred pageviews there were. It may also be worth looking for any ‘Referral’ sources in there too as it may help find externally linked pages.

How do I redirect a link and update the XML sitemaps?

This all depends on the site build, CMS and the server the site is running so we can’t give a specific best practice example here. If you’d like some assistance or would like our support please feel free to get in touch! For more info why not check out our post on the question over whether to remove or redirect a page?