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/webmasters/community?hl=en
12/9/11
Original Poster
Gibbs404

Is page rank value of old URLs lost when 'Not Found' Crawl Errors are removed naturally by Google?

I have read the FAQs and checked for similar issues: YES
My site's URL (web address) is: www.ftadviser.com
Description (including timeline of any changes made):
 
Apols up front as I am not a techy.
 
Relaunched 7th Oct 2011, shortly after we had 55k not founds listed in webmaster tools, where old indexed urls were no longer linking to the right content. We now have 13k. After doing some research, we will be implementing a canonical url fix asap.
 
Crawl errors are down from 55k to 13k, but i think this is a natural drop off that happens when Google tries and fails to access content for a certain period.
 
My question then: The URLs that were getting the 404s (the 55k), when they drop off this 'Not Found' list in webmaster tools/crawl errors, does that mean that any value built up for those URLs is now irretrievably lost?
 
Thanks in advance.2011-12-09
 
When I say value, I mean 'search value' - 'page rank value'
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All Replies (7)
alistair.lattimore
12/10/11
alistair.lattimore
Your overall site is still going to benefit from the inbound links to your site, even if they generate an error of some sort.

However by allowing inbound links to result in an error, you're squandering the majority of the benefit of the link.

To maximise your inbound links you should:

 * contact the websites linking to your broken URL and ask them to update it
 * implement HTTP 301 permanent redirects from your broken URL to its new corresponding URL


webado
12/10/11
webado
>>Your overall site is still going to benefit from the inbound links to your site, even if they generate an error of some sort.
 
How so?
 
If you have urls that currently respond with 404 for which  you have replacement urls, then you need to 301 the old urls to the new ones. Then any incoming links to the old urls get transferred (along with their value) to the replacement urls.
 
alistair.lattimore
12/10/11
alistair.lattimore
webado,

My logic is thus.

At a simple level, PageRank is a measure of number and quality of links pointing to a given URL.

It is widely accepted that there is such a thing as domain authority.

Folk like SEOMoz have released research showing the correlation between the number of linking root domains & rankings.

It is natural for websites to have 404 errors and natural for people to link to your site incorrectly or correctly and the webmaster changes the URL in some way. 

It makes sense to me that since error documents are a natural part of the internet, that Google would still count links pointing to a site even if it generates an error response code. Assuming that the link passes through their relevancy checking algorithms, a link to a broken URL is still a vote from website A for website B.

Thoughts?

Al.
webado
12/10/11
webado
>>It is widely accepted that there is such a thing as domain authority.
 
Your domain would gain authority by receiving links to non-existing urls? Doesn't follow.
 
Domain authority would at most apply  to the domain that links out, not to the one receiving dud incoming links.
 
 
 
 
 
Gary Illyes
12/11/11
Gary Illyes
Hi guys,

If a URL becomes an error, for example a 404 or a 500, we will try to keep it indexed for a very limited period of time. After that, we will drop them as they aren't useful for the users. For the URL this means that with its content it will lose everything it had before. PageRank can only exist for live URLs that have a representation in Google's index and thus URLs that were dropped because they became an error, can't pass signals.

As for the original issue, I would consider redirecting as the others said (Thanks!) to the pages that are now contain content. It's much more user friendly and it's also better for your site in overal.
One thing I'd make sure is that you redirect a URL to a page that has the same content or relevant to what was on the now defunct URL. It's very annoying for the users when they want to visit a page on which they believe they will find pictures of ice cream sandwiches, but they end up on a page that contains information about exotic furnitures.

Hope this helps!

alistair.lattimore
12/11/11
alistair.lattimore
Fantastic, thanks for clearing that up Gary.
12/13/11
Original Poster
Gibbs404
Many thanks for your feedback chaps
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