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    Manage inactive pages for better optimization


    Hi,
    I have an eCommerce site where I sell a lot of unique products. I have more than 500 products and most of them only exist in single quantity.
    So when items get sold, I deactivate them but still keep them in the database in case I manage to get the items back, which sometimes happens after few months. Then I reactive the product.

    This apparently is giving a lot of "page not found errors" on search engine and I have been advised
    to redirect the inactive pages.
    But is this the best thing to do? Should I keep inactive items in my database and redirect them to some other page? Or should I just
    delete them? I don't want my database to increase continuously.

    Any advice or solution?
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    I'd use the 302 redirect, which is temporary.
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    You mean just redirect inactive pages to homepage, for example?
    I found a module for my site that does this for each and every page. But that still requires me to keep the products in the database.
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    Don`t delete your products. You can get a search traffic on this pages. Just deactivate a "Buy" button.

    I don't want my database to increase continuously.
    It isn't important. Even if you have 1000 out of stock products, database will grow by 1 mb.
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    Look into outofstock schema too. https://schema.org/ItemAvailability
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    What's the point of leaving an item visible for a long time if it is not in stock? This will only put off potential buyers. That is why I deactivate them. But apparently google does not like it since the items no longer in stock were indexed and now it goes to page not found.
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    Originally Posted by hurray
    What's the point of leaving an item visible for a long time if it is not in stock? This will only put off potential buyers
    Have you ever considered,

    It brings traffic to your site.

    It provides you an opportunity to say, hey, we are out of stock - you can back order it, or sorry, this product is discontinued - but we recommend these other alternative products.

    You keep your traffic, you convert more sales, sort of a win win situation, don't you think?

    Also, as pointed out
    Originally Posted by SaleSmith
    It isn't important. Even if you have 1000 out of stock products, database will grow by 1 mb.
    The database probably has a 1 gigabyte limit, so your objection there is mute.
    If you have never failed in your life, you have never achieved anything Noteworthy !
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    Thank you for your input.
    But on any product page, if a customer sees thumbnails of 50 items and 20 of them as being "sold", don't you think it could have some negative effect? Just wondering...
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    Maybe it would be better if you keep the stock up So you dont run out of so many items.
    I usta run a site like that and when I received an order for something out of stock, I went and
    found it elsewhere and filled the order.
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    if you got 404 error in search results for your site then it is a bad signal to Google.
    By this google will think this page of yours has been deleted so it would decrease your ranking and eventually your won't exit on search results.
    So don't deactivate your page ever again, it will hurt your rankings for sure mate.
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    This always surprises me. Someone has searched something on Google, found a link to a page on your site and clicked on it. Now imaging you had a bricks and mortar store and someone came in asking about a product their friend had purchased but you no longer have in stock. Do you:

    a) Say you don't have it and that's it (404 page)
    b) Just start talking to them about random other products you have (redirect to home page)
    c) Tell them it is out of stock, you don't know when or if you will get it back in stock but here are some relevant alternative products they may be interested in.

    Well it is so obviously c) so in the online world you should keep the product page with the out of stock message and info on relevant alternative products they may be interested in.

    Originally Posted by hurray
    But on any product page, if a customer sees thumbnails of 50 items and 20 of them as being "sold", don't you think it could have some negative effect? Just wondering...
    Don't you mean a category page. Yes, don't clutter up your category pages with Out of Stock products but keep the actual product pages.
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    You can either delete the product page and make sure all links to it are deleted as well. Or you can just deactivate buy product and show zero in stock.
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    Originally Posted by hurray
    Hi,
    I have an eCommerce site where I sell a lot of unique products. I have more than 500 products and most of them only exist in single quantity.
    So when items get sold, I deactivate them but still keep them in the database in case I manage to get the items back, which sometimes happens after few months. Then I reactive the product.

    This apparently is giving a lot of "page not found errors" on search engine and I have been advised
    to redirect the inactive pages.
    But is this the best thing to do? Should I keep inactive items in my database and redirect them to some other page? Or should I just
    delete them? I don't want my database to increase continuously.

    Any advice or solution?
    How likely this happen? May be few product you might never get. So I think You should draft those page or no index which is not available and update sitemap too. If in future, you get those products, You should publish again.
    - Regarding the error, you can redirect those pages to similar products pages or alternative product pages.
    - If you are worried about database, There are some way you can optimise your database too.
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    Originally Posted by james99
    Regarding the error, you can redirect those pages to similar products pages or alternative product pages.
    This is exactly what I wouldn't do. It is the same as this:
    CUSTOMER: "I'm interested in the Red Sweater you have that my friend bought"
    YOU: "Yes here is the Blue Sweater that we have in stock"

    It disorientates the potential customer.

    Follow 'real world' steps:
    1. Yes we did have it but now it is out of stock
    2. But ... we have something else which you might be interested in instead.
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    But on any product page, if a customer sees thumbnails of 50 items and 20 of them as being "sold", don't you think it could have some negative effect? Just wondering...
    - Do not show the thumbnails only the products that you have although you should leave the pages of "sold" products and show a note that says something like out of the stock but you have similiar products here
    - It is a win-win situation you keep your customer and they know that the product is out of stock

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