Recently, Google’s John Mueller discussed the biggest conundrum for eCommerce sites — whether to use 301 Redirects for products that are not available or rather show up a 404 Page Not Found notice. Most experts are divided on this issue. The fact is that there are three chief points that came up. In brief, these suggested showing a related products page for smaller sites, 404 for medium websites, and automation of the request for huge sites using the meta unavailable tag.
But the question is, do you need to follow exactly what John Mueller or other big names have to say? It is always a good idea to let the search engines decide, but individual mileage may vary for specific cases. Another important facet here is that a website that has already been developed and suffers from various issues, may be too difficult to fix in terms of unavailable product pages. We have seen that ourselves in several cases as we had to go through a gruelling period to get all those fixed.
On the other hand, if all the product pages are accounted for beforehand, it would be easier for the website admin and the developers to take care of such product unavailabilities easily. The most important aspect is to take care of the products that are temporarily not available, and the ones whose sale has been permanently stopped. Catch more details by clicking the link here, and don’t forget to drop your comments right below!