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  • How to handle removed pages

    I have removed about 100 products from our online store. And, of course, the pages are still showing up in Google's index.

    In terms of SEO, what is the best way to handle it when I remove pages (products). Should set up a 301 redirect using 3dcart's admin? Or perhaps set up a 404 page? Do nothing other than remove the products? Currently if you click on a link to one of the removed products that you find in Google Webmaster Tools, it will take to a Product Not Found error page.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  • #2
    If you have any 301 redirects at all, don't create a custom 404 page. We did that and the 301 redirects wouldn't work at all ...had to remove the 404 page. From an SEO standpoint I would think if the pages rank well you would want to do 301 redirects to something similar. That's just my opinion though ;)

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    • #3
      I have mixed thoughts on this, but I think the best thing to do is to delete the products and have a custom 404 page.

      My thinking is this:
      If you no longer sell the product, you shouldn't really be worried about it anyway. Sure, you want the link to come in, but eventually, it'll fade out anyway. You want to do the best thing you can for your customers. That starts with informing them and google that the page no longer exists. You can play a little loose with what you say to your customers though. Maybe say something like:

      Page Cannot be located

      Possible reasons:
      - The page page has been moved
      - The page no longer exists
      - The web address was typed correctly

      Please call us for help with this issue or try your search again.

      HOMEPAGE LINK
      SEARCH LINK
      LIST OF CATEGORIES
      I always find that being honest and helpful to your customers will take you further than trying to trick them into something else.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by shopgirltx View Post
        If you have any 301 redirects at all, don't create a custom 404 page. We did that and the 301 redirects wouldn't work at all ...had to remove the 404 page. From an SEO standpoint I would think if the pages rank well you would want to do 301 redirects to something similar. That's just my opinion though ;)
        301 all the way. I wouldn't worry about 404 errors, just keep an eye on google webmaster tools and 301 them as they show up. The reality is if someone is linking to you and doesn't change their link you will always have that url pointing to your website. And any link juice from it can help boost other pages (categories or similar products). I still have folks linking to urls from 7-8 years ago when i was with oscommerce and until they remove those urls or their website gets taken down they will always point to whatever url they had. You might as well utilize that little bit of link juice. If nothing else by pointing it to a similar product you may get a few unexpected sales from it if a prospect stumbles upon it.
        Last edited by jwm2; 02-05-2011, 01:06 AM.
        Active.Market.Solutions - 3dCart SEO Specialists
        Extreme-Mods - Video Game Console Mods, Cases and Accessories
        Willow Bay Naturals (being migrated) - Handmade Natural Lotions, Soaps, Candles

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