I have a website along the lines of Craigslist, where users can post classified ads. Some users have requested a feature where they're able to pause/resume their ads. From an seo point of view, the url of an ad looks like: example.com/advert/500
Options I thought of:
1) Remove all links to the ad. If someone manages to come across the ad, then raise an error 404. When the ad resumes, the link becomes available again. And hopefully Google crawls it again, soon.
2) Remove the link to the ad from the site, but still have the link in sitemaps.xml (not sure what Google thinks of that). If they still manage to come across the ad, there'd be some text saying "this ad is on hold". But if many ads are on hold and have the same text, that's not a good thing either. Could be seen as duplicate content? When resuming an ad, all the content would just reappear as it was before. Simple enough.
3) Alternatively, another [more complicated] approach: the link could be removed from sitemaps.xml as well. Upon resuming the ad, the ad could be deleted behind the scenes, and a new one created - seamlessly, e.g. new url is example.com/advert/501. If this is done too quickly, it might also look like duplicate content, since the old advert's details may still be indexed.
Any ideas on how to go about this?