Hi Old Welsh Guy,
I would like to ask your advice. I work for a **identifier removed** clothing company and we have a very active and loyal customer base for the brand. We update our product range 5 times per year which means that the URLs that are indexed for those products use a redirect when a new season goes live to direct the visitor to the newer version.
On many occasions we pick up thousands of inbound links from fashion journals, social networks and social bookmarks to product pages.
I would like to know if there is any SEO benefits in keeping old products live on the web?
Do we lose link equity when we remove the previous season’s products? We usually have some key products each season that people love to link to so are we being penalised for removing these?
Dear Concerned in Oxford, 🙂
The quick answer is that
you shouldn’t dump these pages, as they are attracting backlinks into the site, and the link juice is then being transferred across all other pages. By link juice I also mean Google trust, which plays a big part in the ranking algo.
My advice would be to leave the pages there, and use the ‘out of stock’ or ‘discontinued’ option, but a key trick here is to make use of the ‘people who liked this liked this’ option (assuming you have that facility). If you don’t have a cross selling facility then I suggest you implement one, as it will increase sales dramatically.
Doing the above fulfills two functions:-
1. it keeps the link juice and Google love in place
2. it gives the human visitors a way in to the site, and suggests alternatives.