Solved

Best option for product removal

smallerliving
Excursionist
17 0 5

What is the best option for removing products. I have put some products in draft mode on the backend, however it sends a 404 message. If they are archived, shows the same. Do I need to remove completely from the store and then submit to Google? Thanks in advance!

 

Accepted Solution (1)

ZenoPageBuilder
Shopify Partner
1052 203 217

This is an accepted solution.

If it shows 404, it means the products are hidden completely from visitors and search engines. You can safely submit to Google then.

Zeno Page Builder - Build responsive & SEO-optimized Landing pages, Blog posts, Product pages and more...
Learn more at zenobuilder.com

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Replies 3 (3)

ZenoPageBuilder
Shopify Partner
1052 203 217

This is an accepted solution.

If it shows 404, it means the products are hidden completely from visitors and search engines. You can safely submit to Google then.

Zeno Page Builder - Build responsive & SEO-optimized Landing pages, Blog posts, Product pages and more...
Learn more at zenobuilder.com
smallerliving
Excursionist
17 0 5

Thank you!

ilanadavis
Shopify Expert
188 25 60

Hey @smallerliving 
When you remove a product (either by archiving, deleting, or setting to draft), you will always see a 404 error. The 404 error shows because at one point that page was live, but now it's gone and you haven't given explicit instructions on what you want to do with that old URL. Resubmitting your sitemap to Google isn't going to change the fact that the URL was still indexed at one point. You'll continue to see the 404 error until eventually, Google decides to remove the URL from indexing but this can take a while.

You also need to consider your customers who are landing on the broken page with no place to go except to leave your site. Even when Google eventually removes that URL from indexing, if a customer lands on that page somehow, they will still see a 404 page.

I recommend one of the following options:

1. Fix the broken URL and set up a redirect from the old product to a new product or collection that is comparable.  It is not recommended to redirect to the homepage.

2. Keep the unavailable product on your site and recommend an alternative directly on the product page.

 

Option #2 is especially effective when you've had that page live and you already have traffic to that page. This way you can take advantage of the SEO you've already built up on that product page.

I've actually written about whether or not you should archive or delete products in case this is helpful for you.

 

I hope that helps!

Ilana Davis, Shopify Superhero
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