So i have lots of products that have sold out and I will no longer sell, so i have decided to archive those products.
Would this affect my SEO in any way? would I need to download an APP that creates redirection for those broken links or is this not necessary?
If you don't think I should archive those products, what other way is there to hide them from the admin page, as we have too many products.
how about making the products unavailable on all of the sales channels? Later, if you do decide to make the product available again, you can just choose the channels instead of creating the product from scratch. Plus, the pages will be still searchable on Google.
Btw. I think that archiving the products also leads to 404 if I'm not mistaken.
The other option is to set redirects. There is one article on Shopify about the redirects - https://help.shopify.com/en/manual/online-store/os/menus-and-links/url-redirect
Yes, 404 affects SEO. Plus, what I think is even worse is when a potential customer clicks on link leading to one of your products (let’s say from an article, an email...) and 404 shows up - the user experience is very bad. There should be either redirect to the most relevant page on your website, or, you should set the products as unavailable.
This is a great question that you have asked. In short, deleting and archiving products can affect SEO due to 404 errors. I would recommend setting up 301 redirects from all collections/products that you choose to delete/archive. User Experience is a ranking factor and you never want a customer to land on a 404 error from a backlink.
Shopify has created a post on how to do this and apps that can assist with bulk 301 redirects: https://community.shopify.com/c/Shopify-Discussion/Deleting-collections/m-p/1088141#M229874
If you cover your tracks and set up 301 redirects, then your SEO should not be affected much.
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There is no penalty for losing characters/items too quickly. However, it can have its drawbacks. We recommend that you keep this page for 6 months. Give the customer a message that the product has been cut and linked to the next quality product on the page. Delete this page after 6 months and repeat 301 for the next good product.
The 301 reference indicates direct links to everyone from the old page (and the scanner) to the new page. It also preserves the link value for the old pages.
If there are no related pages or products to switch to, you can switch to the product page.
I would also add that it affects SEO more if the pages you are removing were/are getting a lot of traffic.
If the pages you're deleting get near-zero traffic, and has no backlinks then I almost wouldn't even bother with a redirect.
A workaround here is a concept of a "retired product" page. You could have a theme template with Add To Cart buttons disabled and layout/copy to the effect of "Hey sorry we no longer sell X_PRODUCT but here are some other Y_CATEGORY products you might like"
If a redirect or a "retired product" page works better for your SEO for your site, is really case by case, and depends on things like: