Support » Fixing WordPress » pages created by previous website owner with no content

  • I bought a domain name cira a month ago as a new one and built my website. When I checked which pages are indexed I used “site:” and saw that there are two URLs which have no content and I assume they were created by the previous site owner 5 years ago. Same URLs with different slugs. Visiting the page the massage we get: “That page can’t be found”. My question is what can I do with these pages? Wouldn’t these pages negatively impact my SEO? Or any other negative impact? Thanks for your help in advance

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  • Joy

    (@joyously)

    My question is what can I do with these pages?

    The pages don’t exist, so there’s nothing to do with them from a WordPress perspective.

    Your question is more about SEO than WordPress, so it should be asked elsewhere.
    You could create that page in WordPress, and put whatever you want in the page.
    You could also make a redirect for that URL to something you want instead.

    Thank you. Actually, I am pretty new to working with wordpress as it is my first website. So, it is still confusing when a page is erased if it is still in Google index but the page is not exisitng yet, or when I change a slug in the url in wordpress why I still have the previous non-existant page indexed. So, I just thought that there are solutions for these problems in wordpress as I those pages were created in wordpress, e.g. how to do redirect in wordpress, etc.

    Joy

    (@joyously)

    Think of it like this:
    WordPress is the software that prints a book. That book is a website.
    Google is the librarian that keeps track of all the books. There is a big list of books that is stored over at Google. It includes lists of all the page addresses.
    The previous owner of your domain name wrote a book there.
    Google put that book in its list.
    Then the previous owner lost interest and stopped hosting that book.
    You came along and bought the domain name.
    Google’s list still shows the previous book.
    Your new book doesn’t match the old book, so the Google list is out of synch.
    You can’t control when and how Google updates its list. But you can make a page to match the old page address(that is within WordPress) or make a redirect of the old page address to a new address (that could be a plugin or just an entry in .htaccess file) — but both capitalizing on existing Google list entries.

    Within all this, WordPress is just the software that puts the pages onto a site. There are no built-in addresses or any association with search engines.

    Thanks for the explanation, Joy. It was useful. I already requested Google to remove the outdated urls that have no contact anymore and were created by the previous domain owner. I guess then I don’t have to redirect those urls to an existing page? Otherwise, I am not sure what would be the proper or better way to do if I change the slug in an url in wordpress or Yoast SEO, redirect the old url to the existing one or just request Google to remove the old one? Thanks for your help

    Joy

    (@joyously)

    There are unlimited URLs that someone could type with your domain name and they would get a 404 because you don’t have that page. The ones that were in use by the previous owner are just two of them. If those had external links to them, people could still be clicking on them and arriving at your site’s 404 page.
    If there is any similarity to something that you want to have on your site, use a redirect to capture those clicks, to get them to your new page.
    Otherwise, it’s just one of the millions that will 404, and so what?

    Thank you.It was a great help. I will do the redirects. May I ask what would be the best way to do that? Using a plugin or using .htaccess or something else?

    Joy

    (@joyously)

    If you are comfortable with editing the .htaccess file, do it yourself.
    Otherwise, find a plugin to write it in there for you.

    Thank you. I think with the help of my web hoster I can do that. As this is my first website I don’t know which tools to use for optimization. My webhoster activated Automatize and WPCacheOn in my wordpress and I activated Smush and Yoast SEO, so I use them now. I use the free versions of the above. Would they cover everything or is there anything else that I might need?

    Joy

    (@joyously)

    There is no way to answer that. I’ve built a lot of websites and never used any of those plugins.
    You have to solve problems as they arise. You are never “done”.

    Thank you for all the information. It was very useful indeed.

Viewing 10 replies - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)
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