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Deleting products

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  • Deleting products

    When products are deleted or hidden they come up in google webmaster tools as a url error.

    I know you can go to general>settings>redirect and enter all the info in so that product page takes the customer to where you want them but is there a quicker way of sorting this out?



  • #2
    Redirecting is more of a bandaid than a fix because the product/link will still be in Google's index. The better solution is to block it with robots.txt and/or use Google's URL removal tool:
    - Dean P. e-commerce and small business consulting


    • #3
      Eventually the page will be out of Google's index. If there is no page to land on, then Google can't index it. I don't really see the point of using that URL removal tool. My opinion is that a 301 Redirect is the right solution.


      • #4
        Also... it's going to depend on the reason for the redirect. If you deleted a product because you now have the newer version of that product, then that might be an acceptable reason to redirect from one product to another.

        But if you don't have something similar to redirect to, and you're just redirecting to your home page or a category page for example, then that's not really relevant, and that's not true to the purpose of a redirect.

        Keep in mind that a 301 redirect says "This content has permanently moved." If you're redirecting for a reason other than the fact that your content has actually moved, then you're not using 301 redirects properly and you may want to consider different options.

        I still maintain the URL removal/blocking is better. Having a product URL in the index and dropping people onto a different page or product is not in the interest of providing a good and accurate user experience. You don't expect disordered and inaccurate links in Google's search results.
        - Dean P. e-commerce and small business consulting


        • #5
          brill, thanks for your help with this...will start sorting these pages out now! :)


          • #6
            I don't ever remove or delete a product. If it is gone forever in our offering, it gets moved to an archived product category that is still searchable and spiderable. The item does show out of stock and can't be purchased but the item stays live.

            If the link remains active and someone finds it and visits your site, you've got them to the site, that's the goal isn't it? They then can surf and find something else to buy.

            If you have a similar newer product, link to that new product in the old product's long description area.

            I achieve this by a formula in excel that says if inv < 1 put archive category name in, else put regular category name in.

            This also keeps out of stock items from appearing in your regular category results. Nothing is worse than clicking on a category, seeing 20 items, and 10 of them are out of stock. With 30,000 items there is a good likelyhood out of stock items will be sprinkled on every cat page. So when an item is in stock it shows in the category results, when out of stock it doesn't as it has moved either temporarily or permanently to the archive category.

            So if I've got product links in the search results, bring the people on. They'll find something to buy. At least you've gotten them to the site...... for free.

            Just my theory......


            • #7
              I like your thinking with the archive category...will give that a try instead! Thanks x


              • #8
                We also use a similar method to what "theblademan" suggested. We mark these items as Category Special (and hide the Category special section in the category template), non-searchable, have a "Hide" in one of the Extra Fields and program our PAID feeds not to include items with "HIDE", and we also assign them to a Listing Template with the Add to Cart button and the Price removed. We also change the text for Out of Stock to "Discontinued and Sold Out".

                This way these items will not show on our site or on the in-site search results, but they will be included in Free Feeds and will be indexed in search engines. customers come to the listing page and it tells them that these items are sold out/discontinued providing a service to customers, and more visitors to our site.