What Happens to My PageRank If I Delete My Blog?

By Daniel Scocco

questions and answersThis post is part of the weekly Q&A section. Just use the contact form if you want to submit a question.

Potato Chef asks:

I have a second blog. I want to completely change what I write about on that blog. I want to keep the url and even where it is hosted. Question: If I were to delete all the catagories and posts that are now on that blog but kept the url, name, and host would I lose the page rank that it now has?

Remember that a while ago we had a Q&A about Google PageRank. There we explained that the three main factors that contribute to your PageRank are:

  1. number of backlinks
  2. quality of backlinks
  3. relevancy of backlinks

If you were to delete all your posts, categories and site pages, and start from scratch, yes you would lose most of your PageRank. The backlinks would still be in place, but they would be pointing to non existent pages and would therefore report 404 errors, so Google would consider them as broken links.

Notice that I said “most” of your PageRank, though, because there is a possibility that part of it would remain. How come? Because I assume that your site would have a good amount of backlinks that point to its root domain (the homepage), and those would still count as backlinks. If you change the topic of the site they would lose some relevancy, but they would still be there.

One possibility that you could consider is to leave that current site as it is, and get a new domain to start your new blog. This would be indicated especially if you have some organic traffic flowing. You could place some ads there and let the money come in while you shift your attention to the new project.




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22 Responses to “What Happens to My PageRank If I Delete My Blog?”

  • SEO Tips

    Could you not redirect all the URLs of the pages you want to delete to the home page so that some of the link juice would still be saved?

  • Troy – VIPMillionaireLeague

    I have wondered this for a long time, but am slightly disappointed at the answer. I guess it is good to know in case I wanted to re-do my blog like that. I would be devastated if I lost ‘most’ of my pagerank

  • E-Business Blog

    I think use domain parking is better. I’ve try domain parking, then my domain pagerank increased.

  • bansama

    Why not just keep the old articles? Leave them in an archive or specific category for that old content. The benefits of this would be that visitors coming to the site for that information can still see it; you can hopefully use it to springboard them into the new content (which they may like, even if the subject is different); and you get to keep your current page ranks and link relevancy.

    Is that not a win-win situation?

  • Dalirin

    You might lose your page rank if you delete your post. I once had a blogspot and I deleted all my post. I didn’t add any content so in the next update I had a PR 0.

  • Daniel Scocco

    @SEO Tips, you could do that too.

    @Bamsama, I am not sure if that is a good idea if the topics are very different from each other.

    For example, suppose I had a “Cooking” categori inside Daily Blog Tips because that is the first I had on this domain 🙂

  • seozero

    Homepage PR stays. Just make sure Google can access it. Write some text and put relevant keywords.

    I know it because I own one PR5 domain. Website hasn’t been updated for more than six months.

  • Ikki at Blogging Blog

    @Potato Chef, @Troy: How about making a slow switch from one topic to another? You could start blogging about this new topic(s) you want your blog to cover. That way you could keep your backlinks and PR.

  • bansama

    @Daniel: “For example, suppose I had a “Cooking” categori inside Daily Blog Tips because that is the first I had on this domain”

    You might find a lot of people who enjoy cooking reading the rest of the site and deciding they want to use the blog tip information to help them create the next amazing cooking blog =) You never know!

    Personally though, I would just go with a new domain and either let the old one die out or just keep it running at a far slower pace. But then, I’m more interested in writing for people and not for a search engine’s page rank. After all, if your content is good, that page rank should build up again as the new site grows.

  • Daniel Scocco

    @Seozero, not completely. Remember that the homepage PR is also built from the internal link structure. That is, part of the homepage PR comes from the “Home” links that were presented on all the single pages, and that external backlinks in turn.

    Also, not updating a website is different from completely deleting it 🙂 .

  • Daniel Scocco

    @Bansama, yeah, but that is only one of the possible outcomes, and the positive one.

    The negative one is people that would come to DBT looking for blog tips, and then they would click on the “Cooking” category and think “WTF?”. Some of those could get annoyed and never return.

    That is why I wouldn’t risk it.

  • seozero

    Daniel,

    “not updating a website is different from completely deleting it”

    You right. I wanted to say that all pages have been deleted except frontpage. This website, with only page, hasn’t been updated.

  • Gerald Weber

    Yes starting over always is a pain. I have had to start over before and it took a long time to get my placement in the SERPs back.

  • cnlogger

    thanks for this tip

  • Nurta San

    Nice info & tips! 😉

  • S-Axxis

    I find this article informative…thank you for clearing things up regarding about SEO.

  • rudy

    This is become my concern and big worries for me.
    I have a plan to change the platform of my other blog from Joomla to WordPress, since I don’t need Joomla to run a simple blog like that. It’s too heavy, WordPress is more than enough.

    Now, i need to think and take a risk.

  • Rob Abdul

    You can now use the Google’s Change of Address Feature.

    A couple weeks ago, Google made me and many SEOs very happy by adding a verified change of address feature that allows you to tell Google you are moving domains.

    So you can move/transfer your pagerank if you like.

  • medyum

    You might find a lot of people who enjoy cooking reading the rest of the site and deciding they want to use the blog tip information to help them create the next amazing cooking blog You never know!Personally though, I would just go with a new domain and either let the old one die out or just keep it running at a far slower pace. But then, I’m more interested in writing for people and not for a search engine’s page rank. After all, if your content is good, that page rank should build up again as the new site grows.

  • Bilal Ahmad

    I also want to delete all the post from my blog and then rewrite so new post, because in my previous post, there were some duplicate content, so now i want to delete all posts.

    What is your opinion about this.

  • ravi

    You might lose your page rank if you delete your post. I once had a blogspot and I deleted all my post. I didn’t add any content so in the next update I had a PR 0.

  • andreas

    What if you keep all the posts and channel all PR juice to a new site, by having only one dofollow link from each page to the new site?

    Although i’m not so sure if the nofollow will work as it used to now.

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