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Forum Moderators: buckworks
Keep the page alive for search engine benefit, but exclude it from your website's search results. In other words, let Google etc.. find it, but make it impossible to find on your website.
So people do this deliberately? As a shopper, it's one of the most annoying, off-putting things to click on a SERP for a specific product and then not be able to find it. Believe it's against Google's Webmaster guidelines as well - what do you do with that inbound non-robot traffic that clicks on that SERP? Redirect it somewhere else?
at least it shows a long-tail searcher that we've got a lot of products similar to the one thing they were looking for
Killing the page makes sense if your customer service team keeps taking calls for an item which is no longer available
....more important to me because I want our company to look responsive. Yeah, I get the up-selling part, that's taken care of with the redirect to the product category page
Me? Just kill it. Time to move on to other products. That's where the money resides.