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Redirecting A Non-Existent Product Line


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#1 EddyGonzalez

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 10:56 AM

Hi,

I am working on rebuilding a new ecommerce website where a specific product has been dropped from the product line. The web pages for this product use to send a decent amount of traffic as they had great visibility on search engines. Is it worth me 301 redirecting these product pages rather than 404ing them? and if so where is it best to redirect them to considering that those products arent sold anymore? I worry about the user experience this may have.

 

cheers

Eddy

 



#2 qwerty

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 12:59 PM

If you don't have any products that could reasonably stand in for the discontinued ones, there's really no place to adequately redirect those users. You can make sure your custom 404 page provides users with clear information and links to important pages, but of course the discontinued pages are going to drop out of the index and you'll stop getting requests for those URLs.

 

I guess it depends on what those products were and how they relate to products that are still being offered, but I suppose it's possible you could create a page about why they've been discontinued and redirect there. But if people were coming to the site looking for those products and those products only (that is, they didn't generally buy from other categories in addition to them), I don't expect that page is going to perform very well for you in the long run.



#3 EddyGonzalez

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Posted 28 August 2014 - 08:33 AM

thanks for the reply. The products are basically a brand of outdoor furniture. The website will still have lots of other brand of outdoor furniture, just not those ones.

I agree that any visitor searching for that brand, getting a list of results then going to a page that gets redirected to page with lots of *other* similar products is not a great user experience.

 

I presume eventually the page that is 301ing will eventually not appear in the list of results and so any value received from this old page will be short lived?



#4 qwerty

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Posted 28 August 2014 - 10:18 AM

If you 301, the page you're redirecting from will drop out of the index pretty quickly. That just depends on how often it was crawled in the past, and it could happen the day you put the redirect in place. The only long-term benefit you'll have will be that the page to which you're redirecting will receive whatever link equity the old page had.



#5 Michael Martinez

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 09:07 AM

I would not redirect to queries for BRAND ALPHA to BRAND BETA.  Although this might help sales, it may be seen as less than consumer-friendly.  Instead of modifying your standard 404 document you could redirect to an intermediary page that explains the brand of furniture being sought has been dropped and then recommend some alternatives.



#6 EddyGonzalez

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Posted 30 August 2014 - 09:52 AM

Thanks for the great advice Michael.






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