Planet13 - 1:27 pm on Jun 14, 2012 (gmt 0)
Thanks for the suggestions everyone.
How about sitemaps? When a product goes out of stock do you exclude it from the sitemap as well as stop linking to it?
I have to double check that. XML Site maps are created automatically so I need to look into that, although I know they AREN'T in my html site map.
2. delete page and 301 to similar item
I was thinking of that, but with the way google has been laying the smack down, I am probably going to error on the side of caution.
Can we assume that the "Join the wait list" message does not show up for products that have been unavailable for several years?
It is NOT safe to assume anything with me ;)
In most cases there will be no "Join the wait list" message if the item is truly unavailable - at least in most cases. There are probably more than a few where it still has the "Join the wait list" message when there is no chance I will be carrying it again.
I would delete the item, which then shows a 404 page. You could then perhaps use keywords from the URL, to show related products which would improve the users experience.
Thanks for the suggestion. I am not sure HOW to do this. Do you mean return a 404 status as well as have links to related products on that 404 page?
I could do that, but I don't think it is directly linked to by anybody, so hopefully by doing a 404 it will be removed from the google index.