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I'm working on a travel site. Since the season change and winter is coming, I have to remove old offers from summer. Right now there are about 500 offers that should be removed (better term would be to be "disabled", since we will reuse them next summer).

I'm afraid that disabling or removing a high number of pages will have a negative impact on SEO.

What should I do? Obviously there will be 404 errors. How to handle them? Redirect to the homepage or use custom 404 page with notify that specific offer is removed and not active anymore?

I also have an option to put summer offers in hidden directory (not visible on site) but in that way people will be still able to find summer offers via search engines.

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    What about changing the offer page... "This offer isn't available right now, but please check back again in the summer....". In the meantime just remove it from your navigation. (?) – MrWhite Oct 13 '15 at 8:48
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if you reuse them, don't delete them - you don't want to lose the whole link equity of backlinks, which link to your summer offers!

Redirect them with 301 to the category page, where should stay a message like dude, its winter now! summer offers are out of stock for a while! Let me your email and go in your winter sleep - i wake you, if summer offers are in stock again

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    Dude- you get points for sounding a bit like me!! – closetnoc Oct 13 '15 at 14:07
  • I'd think a 302 redirect is probably better as it's temporary by design. The URLs will be back, so it's not a permanent change. – Andrew Lott Oct 14 '15 at 8:18
  • @AndrewLott: 302 doesn't redirect the link power. its temporarily by design, but only for short term things, like relaunch or so. Read further: moz.com/community/q/how-long-is-it-safe-to-use-a-302-redirect – Evgeniy Oct 14 '15 at 10:40
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Wow. That's a lot of offers.

Do you have a newsletter database that you mail out to?

If not, then explore getting one happening, and have a pop up over the offers saying they're now expired, but "sign up here for our current offers and be first to know for next season" (or something along those lines.)

If you've already got a subscriber list, then do then same as above to build that list, and/or simply disallow the folder/directory where the pages are, until you're ready to activate the pages/offers again. Just bear in mind that there may be a lag with Google reindexing them.

But if you've got a Google Search Console profile, there are a number of tools you can use there as well. It's worth getting to know Google's Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster Tools) if you don't already log in on a regular basis.

Hope this helps.

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It will have negative impact on SEO, surely. But, put redirection up, and redirect them to categories or whatever part of site that you'll like them to be redirected to, and then get busy with offers, one by one. :)

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Use a 302 redirect to a "temporarily unavailable" page. When a search engine hits a 302 error, it knows to re-check that URL often for that page to come back.

You may even consider using your 302 redirects to forward directly to your Winter Deals so that you don't lose actual traffic.

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