When can I remove  permanent redirects?

Melody Scott
Melody Scott used Ask the Experts™
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Hi, we rebuilt our site last year, and have also been doing a lot of SEO work. As a result, I have over 2000 redirects in my htaccess file. I think by now I can start getting rid of a lot of them, as the crawlers should now have stopped indexing these pages.

But how can I know? Is there a tutorial that takes me through the steps for doing this? Example: in October last year, our page about.html became our-story.html, and I added a redirect.

Can I now take that redirect off the htaccess?  site is www dot magic kitchen dot com.

Other examples:

1. We renamed products, so what was dutch-apple-pie.html  is now dutch-apple-pie_7321.html. That was also back in last October. There are hundreds of these.
2. Old products that are now off the site: RedirectPermanent  /menu/Vegetarian/vegetable-lasagna.html   now gets redirected to /menu/Vegetarian.html

Thanks for any and all advice!
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Principal Software Engineer
Commented:
Save the site logs for a few weeks and extract all requests that were redirected with status 301.  This gives an indication of how active the redirects are.  Compare the logged redirects to redirects on the site; anything that did not appear in the log for a month can be removed.

Then look at the redirects in reverse frequency, lowest to highest.  Decide how many redirects must occur per month for a redirect to remain active.  Then remove all redirects with less than that activity.

Every six months, do this evaluation again.

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Commented:
Great answer, thanks!

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