This Item is No Longer for Sale

Branded searches are some of the highest volume and highest value search terms. Many products or systems go out of date though.

To provide the best customer experience many websites that offered outdated products quickly remove related content. The thing is, you can't build up a billion dollar brand and then expect people to stop searching for it overnight. Many people keep on searching long after your products are no longer for sale. And because it is often hard to find information about discontinued products it is not only easy to rank for it, but people search hard for that type of information.

So if you have some content about old products don't remove it when it dates or is no longer sold. Perhaps depreciate or remove the category listings or prominent internal navigation pointing at it from your site, but still leave the page up with whatever few scraper or affiliate links it has gained over time.

Then remind the people that find those pages that the product is no longer for sale and recommend what is for sale. Do that, or maybe throw AdSense or something on it.

Also blogging about old dated stuff...I think so many people chase the right now stuff that it becomes hard to find original content when you surf from channel to channel to channel. It would be just as easy doing research or writing about old things that interest you, and perhaps looking for content sources that others are not using, like collecting junk or making 3d models of stuff.

Published: April 27, 2006 by Aaron Wall in seo tips


April 28, 2006 - 3:11pm

I've been doing this for a few years on my ecommerce site and I get quite a few sales from it when shoppers browse elsewhere. However, sometimes the product is no longer available for purchase via my site (I quit carrying it) but is still available elsewhere such as brick and mortars. More than once I've been threatened with C&D for leaving the page up even though I clearly state that "I've" discontinued it and its no longer available on "this site". Once raspy chain smoking redneck woman tracked down my home number and had the nerve to call me and threaten me. I checked with my attorney and I'm in the clear so I toss the C&D in the round filing cabinet.

April 28, 2006 - 6:45pm

What a coincidence. Our team was just having this same discussion about what to do with pages of items that are discontinued. Clearly, for SEO purposes, it's better to keep the pages up to keep the funnel wide. In addition to suggesting similar products, the information on the page stating that the item is discontinued is actually valuable information that someone would want, had they found that page in their search.

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