dealing with 404 errors
404 errors seem to be damaging my SEO
It seems that Google is just slow at actually indexing the pages after reading the sitemap links, in other words by the time Google comes round to index the actual page (or in our case, the coupon page) the coupon might be gone and Google still thinks is in the sitemap...
Whatever order, Google indexes such pages and sitemaps, I think this theme should address the issue, once for all, each time the coupon offer is gone, the theme developers could fix such issues by creating a automatic 301/302 redirect to the parent store.
This way, if Google does not find the page, even if Google does not re-check the sitemap to verify that the page is in fact gone, redirecting to the parent store such removed coupon pages, will prevent all the ranking issues caused by broken websites (404 errors)...
To give you an example, I'm just looking at the Google Webmasters messages and I have another message from Google:
Googlebot for smartphones found an increase in “page not found” errors on http://www.xyz.xyz
then message body says:
Dear webmaster of http://www.xyz.xyz/
When your site was crawled by Googlebot for smartphones, we detected a significant increase in the number of URLs that return an HTTP 404 (page not found) errors. These errors may prevent Google from showing content on those pages in search results for smartphones. While it's not necessary to fix these issues, your smartphone users will be happier if they don't land on an error page.
When I examine the list of 404 errors examples provided, it shows that such 404 pages are no longer reference in the actual sitemap, but for Google to index such missing pages, this to me indicates that Google thinks those pages are still being reference in the sitemap, well i believe my sitemap is being update in real-time (i'm using plugin "BWP Google XML Sitemaps"), so this leaves me to conclude that there must be a wide gap between the time the sitemap is read and the actual time of indexing the page.
Since this message was sent I have seen a decline in Google traffic...
What is our options? I Believe that together with the actions clipper already offers to, move page to draft, there should be another action which is to create some kind of 301/302 redirect to the parent store, this would resolve these 404 errors (and the related consequences) once for all.
It seems that If I mark the errors as fixed, Google will attempt to come back and the errors will return, the only way to fix this is to create 301 or 302 redirects.
How difficult is to implement this change of behavior in clipper/koupon theme?
FYI, I have a plugin which deals with redirects
when i edit a link, but this plugin unfortunately does not seem to deal with missing pages.