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Deleting Blog & PageRank: What Happens Next?

Steven 4 responses SEO
2

Believe it or not there are good reasons for deleting a blog. Maybe you have a killer domain name that you don’t want to lose but you’ve decided you want to completely change your focus. It happens, more often than you might imagine. But what about all your hard work? It took a lot of blood, sweat and tears to get that blog where it is today. What happens to your pagerank if you delete your blog?

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We’ve talked about pagerank in the past. It’s based on the number of links coming into your blog, the authority of the sites linking to you, and the relevancy of the content on both sides of the link. Those links are formed using the URLs for specific pages on your blog so it only makes sense that if you delete a page or post you’re also going to delete the incoming links.

Once you start deleting those links you’re going to start affecting your pagerank – but all is not lost. You have a few options:

Save high ranking content: Before you start deleting, is it possible to save at least your high ranking pages? If you’re not completely changing niches it might be possible for you to set up new categories on your blog so you don’t have to delete everything.

Change the content: Again, if you’re not moving too far off-topic, is it possible to just change up your content so you don’t have to delete entire URLs? You probably won’t be able to change titles without affecting your permalinks and URLs, but you might be able to change up the article body to make it work. You wouldn’t have to do it with every single blog post but it’s worth it if you could save some of the higher ranking pages.

Set up a sub-domain: It’s not the best solution, but is it possible for you to set up a sub-domain for your new blog and run it off your main domain? If the niches are close enough you could link back and forth to strengthen the rank in the sub while still maintaining the pagerank of your main domain.

Like I said, it’s not uncommon for bloggers to want to delete a blog and start over. For this reason a lot of bloggers plan ahead when they’re building links. If the have the opportunity to place two links in a resource box they link once to their homepage and the other goes to a specific blog post. That way they’re always building up the pagerank for the homepage. And when you delete your blog and start over, the URL for the homepage doesn’t change so you don’t lose those links.

There are plenty of reasons why you’d want to delete your blog but gaining, maintaining, and improving your pagerank takes a lot of consistent effort. Before you start deleting take a hard look at what you’re doing. Is it really worth giving up all that pagerank? Is that domain name really that valuable? If you delete everything you’re going to have to work hard anyway to build it all back up again. Why not just put that effort into a new blog and then you’d have two sets with good pagerank for the same level of effort.

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4 Comments

  1. Dotcomsecrets X

    Very informative article but I have a little question. Can I pass authority from a free blogger or wordpress blog to a self hosted wordpress blog?

    1. Of course you can… I don’t see why not.

  2. John Grginov

    Well if you’re changing the direction of your blog so much that you can’t create any kind of connection between your new and old posts it’s only natural that you lose pagerank and have to start over.
    After all, your new blog doesn’t have anything to do with your old one, who is to say that it will be as authoritative or that the new content will be as good?

    That being said, who cares those two blogs aren’t relevant to each to other? After all, it is your pagerank and you (probably) earned it.

    So what you do is some 301 action.
    The easiest thing to do would be to just redirect your old homepage and every post to your new blog’s homepage. This way, you will get to keep all that juice.(And you old blog effectively won’t exist)

    However, if you have loads of pages this could be anything but natural. What you could do is redirect all your old posts to your old homepage and then redirect the homepage to your new homepage.

    Like this: Old posts –301–> Old homepage –301–> New homepage.

    Or better yet, redirect random old posts to random new posts to minimize the footprint.

    You won’t get to keep 100% of the juice but this will preserve a very high % of it.

    1. Hello John. Thanks for this detailed comment!

      You’re right about the 301 redirections. If you can, you should definitely do a redirection article by article, but it might be very time consuming if you had thousands of articles, and if your 2 blogs are in unrelated niches, it doesn’t make much sense.

      I like the Old posts –301–> Old homepage –301–> New homepage structure.