Products you have for sale on your website may come in and out of stock – so what’s the best way to handle this issue without hurting your Google rankings? (Or the customer experience for that matter!)
Moz.com recently published an article where they broke down the options and looked and pros and cons of each.
You’ve got a few main options here:
- Deleting or “Unpublishing” the page (don’t do this unless you’re not expecting more stock, ever)
- Redirecting to an alternative product that is in stock
- Adjusting the item availability (assuming the correct schema details are then sent to Google)
As the article points out – none of these options are 100% ideal and the right choice will depend on your industry how long it will be until you can get more stock.
The author summarised with:
In this unique case, I think the most important thing, from an SEO standpoint, is to maintain the ranking power of the page, and that probably means leaving it alone. Our best bet is to provide an experience that gives search visitors options and maintains the page’s value.Dr. Peter J. Meyers, Moz.com
A key point here: make sure the page has value. Write a good description, and offer usage advice or suggestions.
Check out the full article on moz.com