If your site contains customer reviews for products or services you offer/sell, there’s a little-known SEO best practice for discontinued items. Vivek is going to tell us more.
“It doesn’t look great if someone searches for an item, your site is displayed in the results, but then the user finds that the item is no longer available. But at the same time, you don’t want to remove the product page from the site and lose SEO value from other content on the page such as reviews.
But there’s a way around this – a way in which you win on all counts.
Instead of removing the product page from your site, tell the search engines to only crawl and index the customer product reviews. For Google, you can use GoogleOn / GoogleOff tags in your robots.txt file. An example would be:
<p>This is normal (X)HTML content that will be indexed by Google.</p>
<p>This (X)HTML content will NOT be indexed by Google.</p>
By doing this on your pages, you will still continue to rank for the product in question, but you will also rank for review related queries. Review related queries generally perform well and have high click-through and conversion rates as they tend to be specific to what users are actually looking for.”