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301 or 404 for classifieds expired pages?

     
12:32 am on Feb 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I have a site for classifieds wich expires after a preset amount of days.
The question is:
What is best for Google?
1.To give him a 200 ok header with the same page in wich I have a meta NOINDEX
2.To give a 404 Not Found
3.To make a 301 redirect to main domain

Thank you.

8:41 pm on Feb 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I actually have this same issue on several of my sites. I have built logic to provide a link to a possible alternative match when the listing expires. I do not remove the page unless itís older than 30 days. You should always produce a 404 if you cannot reveal a themed alternative.

Its just bad for the user and the search engine will not care for a 301 from one subject to another.

9:56 pm on Feb 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

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So your advice is to make a 301 redirect of expired page to a themed page?
I can do that becouse each classified ad is posted under a category and in case the ad expire users will go to that category main page.
Other opinions please?
10:33 pm on Feb 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I wouldn't just use a 301, I would suggest a link to the new page. Try and keep the old page around as long as possible.