2

The situation:

A site with an inventory page, which lists items for sale. Each item description includes a link to a spec sheet which can be downloaded in .pdf form. However, those items are eventually removed from the page, and the corresponding spec sheets become not available. This triggers a crawl error in Google webmaster tools, because it knows about the links, but gets a 404 error when it tries to visit them.

Should I instead return a 410 Gone error code? Should those links (to the downloadable .pdf file) be nofollowed from the very beginning, since Google can't index the documents?

  • Just a side note, Google can index pdf files. – Dominique Apr 6 '11 at 14:13
  • Just be clear that "no longer exists" (404) and "will never exist again" (410) are two different things. I admit it is splitting hairs somewhat and will not really find you in any trouble SEO-wise. – Mike Hudson Apr 6 '11 at 22:21
1

If there are other item the user may be interested in you can do a 410 error and display a page that shows them other potentially similar documents/products they may wish to view. That way you potentially can still convert those users into sales.

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.