RW is a great website builder; however, it uploads to servers only. It leaves old files on the server that haven’t been edited and Google will most likely point or index to the old file if it’s still there. You need to go onto the server and eliminate the old html file. This may seem pretty basic, but surprisingly can be a major headache if Google has indexed the old file still on the server.
Transmit is one of many excellent (s)ftp programs which will allow you to access your remote server - and clean out (=delete) any old files in the directory into which you plan to republish with RW. Good luck!
Absolutely, and glad it does! RapidWeaver by design will not delete anything from your server, as it doesn’t know what else you might have put on the server like external resources.
You really shouldn’t just delete pages. When a page (URL) is no longer wanted, it’s best practices to do a redirect to a replacement URL.
More than search engines like Google hopefully have bookmarked or referenced your URLs. It creates a very poor user experience to leave users that way. If they click on those old links they’ll get a 404 error.
Even when you delete the page the old links will be around for quite a while. You need to ask yourself “what page should the user that wanted that old page land on?” Then do a redirect from the old URL to the new one.
Just because you delete the page doesn’t mean search engines will immediately remove all references to that URL.
Also, Search Engines like Google don’t like 404 errors any more than the user does. Your entire site could lose some of it’s SEO Juice by just deleting pages.
If you do proper redirects the old pages being on the server won’t hurt a thing, because no one will be able to them including search engines and if you use 301 (permanent) redirects you’ll have a better chance of keeping a lot of the SERP ranking for the old page.
If you use SEO Helper 2, it has built in utilities that let you clean up duplicate pages with a click of a button directly inside RW preview. Its done on a page by page basis though.
Definitely not, as all references to the old files (like Sitemap and internal links) are updated correctly.