I`m wondering what is the proper way to re-build a site.
I have a site that has content on it that I want to get rid of. It`s a wordpress site and I have authorship attached.
I don`t want it to hurt my author rank so I`d like to create new, useful content. What`s on the site now is the product of many tests. It was originally used as a testing ground for new ideas and stuff like that. Thanks for any advice.
I wouldn`t recommend the use of the removal tool in GWT in this case nor would I recommend the use of of a WP plugin in this case. I would 301 redirect the old URL to the new URL in .htaccess. The removal tool does not do that, it removes the web page from the index for 90 days. That is, during that period you don`t get any traffic to those URL`s. Maybe Google has some safeguards in place but I wouldn`t recommend it. Since this is basically a one time job I wouldn`t install a WP plugin. Personally I would use the .htaccess directly because I don`t like to use multiple plugins (I like to have WP as clean as possible)....
I am under the impression that + asks about changing the URL structure:
What I`d like to do is just delete all the content, install a new theme and start writing. I just don`t know if that`s the proper way to do it.
In that case I wouldn`t "retire" the URL as in a 404 or a 410. Instead I would 301 the old URL to the new URL. In short, a 301 signals to search engines that a URL once existed but now moved to a new location permanently. Using the removal tool in combination with robots.txt signals to Google that the content shouldn`t be in a "public" index and thereby it should be in the SERPS. As far as I understand the content should be in the SERPS but under a different URL.
To me if you use the removal tool you ask Google to remove the indexed content and thereby you cannot be found for that content the next 90 days. Maybe if Googlebot sees the 301 they will revoke the removal request and thread it differently but that is just speculation and I don`t know. What I do know is that sending a removal request for when you change the URL structure isn`t optimal and the webmaster is better of using a 301.
This artcle might be helpful -