Updating and removing the older posts is a regular process to clean your website from old dated and unnecessary content. But if you are deleting an older post that is already indexed then you should think twice before deleting this post because when anyone clicks on the deleted page link then a 404 not found will return to the user which means your page has been deleted.
What is a 404 error
The HTTP 404 Not Found client error response code shows that the server can’t locate the requested source. Links that head to a 404 page are often called broken or dead links.
Affect of broken links on SEO
Broken links are not only disturbing, but it can also damage your SEO exercises as well. That’s right! Not only the users, but search engines hate broken links too.
When visitants stumble upon a broken link, they wouldn’t want to continue to explore the different pages, because they can’t!
And when visitors spend minor time on your site, search engines will consider that your website is not presenting a good user experience. Ultimately, search engines will give you a more inferior rank.
How to safely remove the older posts
There are two simple and safest ways to remove the older post without affecting your SEO.
One easiest and simplest way to fix your 404 error code is to redirect the page to another one. You can achieve this task using a 301 redirect. What’s 301, you may ask? It’s a redirect response code that indicates to a browser that the content has been shifted to a different URL.
Submit URL removal request from Google search console
If you think that your content is outdated and no one interested to read this type of content then, you can submit a removal request from the Google search console. Google will not index your page after the removal of the URL.
For this purpose login to your Google search console account.
From the left side pane, Click on Removals.
And click on New Request.
Enter the URL of the post you want to remove and click on Remove all URLs with this prefix.
Click next to send the request. you will see your link appeared in the submitted requests list. Now Google will remove this URL from search and no one will find this URL in the future.
Now you can remove your older posts without any trouble.
It is necessary to apply 301 redirect or URL removal before deleting any page from your website. because it can hurt your SEO efforts.