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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador kse's Avatar
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    November 29th, 2005
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    Question Soft 404 (Noindex & 404) Part 2
    I have another thread that this question comes from but I wanted to open a new thread to ask one question (I have to make sure I get it right)

    Background:
    I have a page say details.xxx?ProdID=x

    If x = 1 Product 1 gets displayed
    If x = 2 Product 2 gets displayed
    If x = 3 Product 3 gets displayed
    Etc………

    Ok, now product 2 is no longer available, so I have put a “noindex” in the head to try to stop Google from reporting “Soft 404” when the product is no longer available. The page still works but no product gets displayed. I just tell the user the product is no longer available; also not this product is no longer linked from my site:

    When Google indexes details.xxx?ProdID=2 they get this:

    <head>

    <META NAME="ROBOTS" CONTENT="NOINDEX, FOLLOW">

    </head>


    I noticed that Google still reports a “soft 404” when the “noindex” is used. So my question is and can I use the following code to get ride of these “soft 404” errors.

    When Google indexes details.xxx?ProdID=2 they will get this:

    <head>

    <META NAME="ROBOTS" CONTENT="NOINDEX, FOLLOW">
    header("HTTP/1.1 404 Not Found");

    </head>


    Note: of course I still want Google to index details.xxx?ProdID=1, details.xxx?ProdID=3, ………….

    So my question is:

    “Will the code in my 2nd <head> work to correct this problem as well as allow Google to still index the other products that are still available???”

    Thank you
    Kevin.......
    MERCHANTS: Start showing your coupons directly on your site, that way your shoppers will stop leaving your site looking for them!! If not then remove your Coupon Box!!

  2. #2
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    Can you do a 301 header redirect from the dead product to product 1 or 3, or to a product category page? And/or a <link rel="canonical" href="[product 1 or 3, or product category page URL]"/>

    I know it takes Google a while to remove a 'NOINDEX' page from the SERPs, although, you can manually remove them a little quicker through Webmaster Tools.

    Also, if that 'now dead' page was ranked, then using that canonical tag should help pass most of the value onto a related page.

    I don't know about the "header("HTTP/1.1 404 Not Found");".

  3. Thanks From:
    kse

  4. #3
    ABW Ambassador kse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by calebtheredwood View Post
    Can you do a 301 header redirect from the dead product to product 1 or 3, or to a product category page? And/or a <link rel="canonical" href="[product 1 or 3, or product category page URL]"/>
    It is possible but I have 1000's of products, I hopping the "noindex" will clean it up overtime but was wondering if I should add the 404 line as well.

    What I have done in the sort term is show related products on the page when the product is no longer available and include the "noindex", but in the long run I want Google/Bing to stop indexing the page when the product becomes unavailable.
    MERCHANTS: Start showing your coupons directly on your site, that way your shoppers will stop leaving your site looking for them!! If not then remove your Coupon Box!!

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