Deleting/Moving/Renmaing - Webpages, Documents
In most cases, please try to update the existing webpage with new information instead of creating a new page for the same information. That way the search results remain accurate, and you don't have to go through the trouble of making link changes across your departmental site. In cases where the webpage is no longer required and is not going to be updated with new information, please follow the following procedures before deleting the Webpage or document.
Deleting Webpages or Documents
We have made it a lot easier for content authors to delete webpages or electronic files in their departmental web folders with the click of a few buttons. However, we strongly urge you to record the URL of the webpage and the documents that are being deleted before deleting them from your departmental folder. Please send the URL or URLs to the University Webmaster via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here's an example: I would like to delete the policies.html file from the web folder. Before I delete the file I record the URL in a Word file like this: http://www.emporia.edu/web/policies.html (deleted). I then send the information to the University Webmaster so the page no longer appears on the search engine when users search for web policies.
And here's the reason for the process: everything that gets published on the emporia.edu domain gets indexed by our custom Google search engine that visitors use to find content on our website. In an effort to keep those results accurate, we require the URLs to force delete those pages off the custom search engine's index. That way the next time someone searches for the webpage it doesn't come up with a match that links to a 404 missing page error.
After we have entered the URL to the search engine, it takes about 2 days for the URL to be removed from our search engines.
Moving or Renaming Webpages
When moving a webpage, content authors need to ensure that they inform the University Webmaster about the move. The information that would be needed is the old URL of the page and the new URL of the page. In addition to the URL information, the University Webmaster would require the page title as well.
The reason for this step is to make sure that all search engines internal and external to ESU have indexed that page point to the new page. The University Webmaster then places what is called a 301 redirect on the old location of the webpage. That way anyone visiting your old location automatically gets redirected to the new location. When the search robots index our site the next time, the robots update the indices to point to the page's new location without hurting your search rankings for the page.
The 301 redirect is the most efficient and search-friendly redirection method for webpages.