Planet13 - 6:05 am on Jun 14, 2012 (gmt 0)
I'd say you have a usability issue if those URLs are getting search traffic or direct traffic.
Well, I looked through the traffic and there was really only two or three out of stock products that get any sort of traffic (within the top 50 most popular landing pages), so it is some traffic, just not a lot.
I'd say you need to change the page's content to show the out of stock nature of the product right away.
Something like put "Out Of Stock" in the Title element, first thing? That way the user would know that it was out of stock before they click the search result.
Otherwise, The add to cart button is normally above the fold, so the out of stock message would be apparent FAIRLY easily.
However, this is not likely to be a Panda issue IMO, unless you're repeating the exact same copy on all those out of stock pages. That might be deadly.
Nope, the copy is different. The only part that is the same is the message that says "Out Of Stock".
Does all the content on the page remain the same except for the add to cart button?
Yes, it remains the same as when it was still in stock. Just the Add To Cart button is replace by a text message saying Out of Stock (oh, and a text link that says "Join The Wait List").
Also, how long is the out of stock note relative to the rest of the text on the page?
Combined Out Of Stock / Join The Wait List is, as you have probably surmised, only 7 words long and the descriptions for the products are generally around 200 to 300 words long.
(Man, it really feels like I am grasping at straws with this Panda thing.)