lucy24 - 6:37 pm on Jun 18, 2013 (gmt 0)
Google considering those pages 404 is like claiming that a bakery doesn't sell cupcakes because they are out at this time.
There's more to it, though.
#1 If customer calls the bakery and asks about cupcakes at a time when they happen to be out, is the customer told "Yes, we sell them" or "Yes, but we're sold out until tomorrow"?
#2 Does the bakery's display case include a currently empty section labeled "cupcakes", or do other products take up all available space?
There's a big difference between a complete product page with an "out of stock" label in the corner where you place your order, and a page with no product-specific content.