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SEO: ecommerce item deleted by user, 301 redirect to HOME PAGE or 404 not found?

I decided to delete about 2000 pages because of panda update.

Should I just set them 404 or redirect them to home page with 301 ?

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marked as duplicate by John Conde Nov 28 '11 at 17:20

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

Do a 404 error. The pages are missing so that is what you should report. Make a customized 404 error page with links to a sitemap or a search form to help people find the new content.

301 redirect are for content that has moved, which is not the case here.

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