How to Handle Low Inventory Pages on Ecommerce Sites

Today’s Ask an website positioning query is a “Taco Tuesday Two For”.

Today we’re going to deal with two powerful indexing questions.

The first is from Mohamed in Germany. Mohamed asks:

“We have many pages on the site with very minimum inventory/listings, hence we have them set by default on noindex, follow to avoid landing the users on pages that are not very convenient for them, hence deteriorate the user-engagement metrics on the site. That being said, we are missing out on ranking for those pages/queries and most of the competitors despite also having minimum inventory have the pages indexed, hence having a slight competitive advantage. So, the dilemma here choosing UX vs. catching up with the competition for those queries/pages. PS: The question above is also because it’s not easy to acquire more inventory for those specific pages/Locations.”

In these unsure occasions, stock challenges might be daunting, however we’re all on this collectively. Search Engine Journal is right here for you.



For starters, if the product is in inventory and accessible to be bought, I wouldn’t noindex the web page in any respect.

If the product is out of inventory, there are a couple of choices you may take – they usually all rely on what in regards to the stock or the product.

If the product is rarely coming again, you may:

  • Safely noindex the web page or redirect it to the newer model of the product or the class of comparable merchandise.
  • Just 404 it in case you’re by no means going to have something comparable to it ever once more (however I desire discovering someplace to redirect).

If the product is coming again, I nonetheless wouldn’t noindex the web page.

Instead, I’d change the copy to let customers know the product is out of inventory, when it’s anticipated again in inventory, and put on an e-mail seize type.

Allow folks to join e-mail updates when it’s again in inventory, and hit them with a coupon and a few associated or comparable gadgets.

Rather than noindex the web page and quit on the person, use it to strengthen your CRM.



I notice that customers hate seeing pages with out of inventory merchandise, however in case you’re having stock difficulties so are your opponents, and whoever doesn’t noindex goes to be the one getting all of the site visitors once they’re again in inventory.

If you need to reduce down on person frustration, look into product and stock tags. You can dictate whether or not or not one thing is in inventory or not.

But wait there’s extra!

Our second noindexing query comes from Eddie in Kentucky. Eddie asks:

“If you noindex category pages does that include the subcategories? Thank you for the answer. This have been puzzled me for a while now.”

I assume you’re speaking about WordPress right here, however I’ll make the reply apply to something.

The quick reply is “it depends” on what plugin you’re utilizing.

If you’re utilizing Yoast then setting classes to not present in search outcomes may also apply to sub-categories.

Note: this may solely noindex the class pages, not all of the pages within the class.

If you’re utilizing a unique plugin or a unique platform, you’ll have to test.

There’s a whole lot of plugins on the market and I actually don’t know the reply for all of them.

If you’re doing it manually, you’ll have to manually do it to all of them.

I might use warning when taking this method although, as oftentimes, that is one of the best ways for serps to uncover older posts as soon as they’ve left the house web page (for instance, as Yoast suggests, utilizing tags).

If you don’t use tags (many individuals don’t for numerous causes I received’t get into) and don’t have a superb structure that creates a crawl path to articles, it’s your decision to contemplate leaving the class pages alone.

Wait, you “noindex” not “nofollow” – why are you speaking about crawl paths?

Good query!



Because on this video John Mueller mentions that in the event that they see a noindex for a very long time, Google could cease following and crawling the hyperlinks on that web page or deal with them with much less worth.

Hope that helps!

Thanks once more, and maintain submitting your questions.

Editor’s wordAsk an website positioning is a weekly website positioning recommendation column written by a few of the business’s prime website positioning consultants, who’ve been hand-picked by Search Engine Journal. Got a query about website positioning? Fill out our type. You would possibly see your reply within the subsequent #AskanSEO publish!

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