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6 months ago I completely deleted my old 2.5 Joomla site and replaced it with a new site using a new template.

Now in the Google Search Console there are thousands of crawl errors. All the errors are pointed to the old site's URLs.

What should I do to fix this?

Crawl Errors

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Contrary to rumours Google does not penalise 404s. There is however detremental impact on the ranking your old pages had attained, the associated keyword matches for your old articles and of course user experience.

It's possible for you to relink those pages back to new pages on your new site and carry forward, as it were, the ranking/reputation etc. of your old content (Although leaving it for 6 months is probably going to have negated this action).

Using htaccess is one way, you could also use an extension to help. The core extension called Redirect is OK for small number of links but in the best tradition of Joomla it offers a cumbursome interface.

Some extensions like SH404SEF will try to match urls and redirect to existing content as best it can.

My preferrence is to use an extension called ReDJ. This allows you to create rules for dynamically rebuilding urls from old ones to redirect to new content. It is extremely powerful and does have something of a steep learning curve but the developer is active and very supportive. It also tracks urls and how many times they have been visitied and provides an interface to create direct 1:1 redirects.

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Here is a good reference for removing the out of date indexed pages with explanations: http://searchengineland.com/removing-urls-from-the-index-in-bulk-159646

Here is Google's answer: https://support.google.com/customsearch/answer/2631051?hl=en

To prevent future pages that you do not want indexed, you want to update your robots.txt file: https://varvy.com/robottxt.html

  • there are about 3000 urls from my old site. i cant remove them one by one. isn't there any other solution? – kiasati Aug 18 '16 at 15:22
  • 3900 not found URLs – kiasati Aug 18 '16 at 15:29
  • In that case, I would use htaccess to force 410 error codes for those pages, telling Google those pages are gone/never coming back. Go through the 3200 and figure out patterns and use regex to match. For example, 500 of them that are all in a subfolder that no longer exists. quickonlinetips.com/archives/2014/11/… Also can do 301 redirections in .htaccess using regex to match patterns. SEO people argue both methods, so it's hard to tell which is better. You can always create a followup post if you need help with the exact .htaccess matching. – YellowWebMonkey Aug 18 '16 at 16:02
  • im using joomla cms.. i dont think articles r in any subfolder. so which way is better in my case? – kiasati Aug 18 '16 at 16:26
  • Sorry, to clarify, if you are using SEF, it will generally use the category, parent menu name, etc in the URL which you can match. So for your /fa/support/best-link.html you might match /fa/support/ if those links were no longer valid. – YellowWebMonkey Aug 18 '16 at 16:54

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