Stephen Ostermiller's Blog

SEO Myth: You can reset your SEO and have Googlebot do a fresh crawl to start over

It is tempting to think that you can have Google forget everything it knows about your site and start over. However Google has a very long memory. There is no way to reset everything that Google knows about your site.

Penalties

One reason that Google doesn't allow you start over is that Google assesses penalties against sites. Allowing you to start over would erase those penalties. If your site has penalties, it is a much longer process to correct the problems and rebuild Google's trust than just starting over from scratch.

URLs

Google remembers all URLs that you have published on your site. Googlebot will continue to crawl those URLs forever, even if you have removed the content from those URLs. If you change all the content and URLs on your site, Googlebot will continue to get "404 Not Found" errors at the old URLs. You should either redirect each of those old URLs to the new URL of the same page, or configure your server to send "410 Gone" status for them.

XML Sitemaps

On a similar note, deleting your old sitemaps and submitting a new one won't change reset your SEO either.


This article was written as part of a series about SEO myths.

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