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Sunday, March 17, 2013

Recovering A Deleted Page Or Post, Chapter 2

Blog owners have been deleting their pages and posts, then changing their minds later, since Blogger started providing the ability to delete pages and posts.

We've been advising anxious blog owners, for some time, how to recover deleted pages and posts. The easiest solution, in the long run, is to recover the PageID / PostID, and re publish the deleted page / post.

When the deleted page or post cannot be re published, the next option is to re build the page / post, possibly using feed cache.
Using this technique, you'll have to reformat the post content, as feed content is formatted relatively simply. When you publish the post, it will publish as a new post, with a new URL - so any external references to the missing post URL will still be broken.
Thanks to the recently offered Custom Redirects option, though, we can make this latter choice slightly less undesirable.

When a deleted page or post has to be rebuilt from the beginning, the classic prognosis was not good.
  1. The content is retrieved or rewritten, then re formatted.
  2. The page / post is re published, but under a new URL.
  3. The readers, and the search engines, adjust to the new URL being used.
For many blog owners, issue #3 is the cruelest blow - as the blog suffers reputation loss, from readers and search engines seeing
404 Not Found
for the deleted page / post.

Given enough determination and time, the blog owner can get through issues #1 and #2 - but issue #3 is the gift that just keeps on giving. Using Custom Redirects, though, that does not have to be the case.

It's a simple solution - and your readers and the search engines don't have to do anything unusual.
  1. Rebuild the page / post, using a carefully chosen Title / URL.
  2. Add a Custom Redirect.
    • From: The deleted (previously published) URL.
    • To: The new (re published) URL.
  3. The readers, and the search engines can view the re built page / post contents using the old URL - and update their record of the URL, as convenient to them, to point to the new URL. And the page / post never goes offline.
And you, the blog owner, can get back to work on new pages and posts.

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Matti Nescio said...

When the PageID / PostID could not be determined, the next option was to re build the page / post, possibly using feed cache.

When there is a feed cache available, then by definition the PostID is available too (in the feed).