Title: “Is It Possible to Reset the Indexing of a Website?”

Did you delete your old site and put up a new one? It’s not as easy to “reset” indexing as some would think.
SIA Team
November 4, 2021

During SEO Lightning Round 2, which is a 2-minute, 11-second video that Google recently published, about 4 questions were raised (and answered). 

One of them, asked by Mischa M. Bakik, asked if it’s possible to reset the indexing of a website:

“What is the correct way to introduce a new site to Google? I deleted my old files from the FTP, uploaded the new ones, and let Google know via Google Search Console. But 6 weeks later, I still get errors.”

Google Search Advocate John Mueller, who hosted the video, responded:

“Unfortunately, no, it’s not possible to reset indexing. However, the good news is that if you’ve changed your website, search engines will automatically focus on the new version and drop the old version over time.

“You can help this along by using redirects from any old URLs to the new ones.”

The Importance of Redirects (Particularly, 301 Permanent Redirects)

Redirects are, basically, what the word implies: a way of redirecting traffic (or visitors) from one page/URL to another. 

There are various types of redirects. 

Since we’re on the topic of new sites, the type of redirect I want to inform you of is the 301 permanent redirect

The 301 permanent redirect (or 301 moved permanently) is just a way of telling search engines that “the page that used to be here has now been permanently moved to this URL.” 

This is important with new sites because, with a new site, you might not have the same URLs or URL structure as your old site did. If search engines still have your old URLs or URL structure indexed, it’s good to tell them (via as many 301s as you need) that those URLs have been moved. 

A Potential SEO Tip

Some SEO experts believe that, even if your new site doesn’t have content that is the equivalent of content that you had on your old site (for example, if your new site doesn’t have a discontinued product that was featured on your old site), you may still want to use 301s from your old URLs to other pages on your new site.

That way, the ranking power and ‘link juice’ and ranking that those older URLs had will be focused on your newer URLs. If you really want, you can redirect those old URLs to a page that says, “Hello. This product is now discontinued. In its place, we now offer you the Super XYZ.”

Source: Google Search Central YouTube channel