How can I utilize the value of all these old urls after issues with Manufacturer?

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Hello guys,

I work with an online marine retailer. We've gained very good rankings on Google across several different top boating product lines and products.

For one manufacturer in particular, we've been able to achieve several very high ranking product pages and blog posts. It is one that I've worked on since I started working here 3 years ago, and have put a lot of effort into, making top quality content, and building high quality links to the pages. We rank either number 1, or right behind the main manufacturer's page.

The owner here in our company recently got into it with the management at this manufacturer, due to conflicting issues in an out of the country bid that we won (who will fulfill bid; gain most from it). This was a build up after several smaller arguments where they left us hanging and didn't support us when we needed answers to issues. The manufacturers decided to drop us as dealers after this final argument. They told us to remove their products from our site. We feel it's brash and unfair, but oh well.

So either way, we have several top urls with very high Domain Authority and Page Authority, but with all the on page content based on their brand, with title / meta title and url mentioning brand name.

Any way we can still utilize / pass on the ranking / link juice from these urls? In other words, not completely waste all these high value urls?

Problem is, they are like:

Brand A troubleshooting (blog), which is quite specific to theirs
Why Brand A is the best A product (blog)
Brand A products (with all of the products listed)

Trying to wrap my head around the possibilities here, if there are any.... thanks
#issues #manufacturer #urls #utilize
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  • Profile picture of the author Evan M.
    If they are branded, I'd say 301 to similar product urls for a different brand. Thats about all you can do. Leave the trouble shooting ones alone, since people will always search for those articles as long as the brand or its products are still on the water or being used by people (unless you must remove them), then 301 everything

    If they are product pages, just mark them as sold out and hide them but also put a 301 on them. They will be "off" the site while still allowing those who find the search results to arrive at your site.

    Cant really think of any better solution. Not sure how well 410's work or if they hurt rankings by implementing them, but seems like 410 shouldnt hurt... much. Unless its thousands of products/urls. Definitely curious to hear others opinions on this.
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  • Profile picture of the author David C.
    Thank you, Evan. This is kind of what I was thinking. Worried about if they hit us with a cease and desist... think we would have to remove our results from Google?

    Curious about this (cease and desist part) and any other recommendations from the guys on here as to how we can utilize these results?
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  • Profile picture of the author Evan M.
    Cease and desist wouldnt really hold much water here I dont think. Id start of with the 301s and if they do a cease and desist for some dumb reason, then 410 em and you're good. Not like you have any control over what google does with the results, but 410 as a last resort should avoid any legal action by showing you guys made the effort to comply.
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  • Profile picture of the author David C.
    Sounds like a good strategy. Thank you man
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  • Profile picture of the author dave_hermansen
    The troubleshooting one cannot possibly lead to any sales. Those people already bought the product, so just let that URL die.

    You might consider changing the content on the "Why Brand A is the best A product" page to just the opposite. "Is Brand A the best A product?" and then have the article talk about alternatives that are as good or better - especially for the money.

    There is no law that prevents you from doing that at all. If there was, every comparison shopping or review site would be out of business. Leave the URL of that page the same but change the content to something that gets them to switch to the product(s) you sell. We've done very similar things when we were not able to get an account with a popular brand. We create articles about the brand and/or products, showing people why they may not be the best choice for them and what brands/products (that we DO carry) are probably better choices.

    You might be able to come up with something similar for the third one - "Brand A products (with all of the products listed)" and, instead, do a chart with their products and equivalents of them (linked-to, of course) for the products you DO carry.
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  • Profile picture of the author David C.
    Thanks, Dave,

    Good point on troubleshooting guide. They already have the product! I'll leave it up though. Rather than letting it die, I'm thinking to link to my main product page in discreet link text, to pass the value on of the page. This page was actually linked to by a .gov page, giving it a super page value.

    As to the best product page, that's something along the lines of what I'm thinking of doing. Before, it was pretty much a simple shallow "review" boosting the product line in question. And even with that, it ranked number one for several terms when looking for the best of this product.

    This was written a couple of years back. My research, writing and on-page seo knowledge has grown quite a bit since then. I'm going to make an actual real review of each major line, but this time with just a BIT more on the negatives of this brand (which there are plenty, and we know them!), and a bit more good towards the brand(s) we have good relationships with.

    Wondering what to do about actual product listings now... probably a straight 301 redirect to our main products page (this passes on ranking, I believe?). Was thinking of saying out of stock, buy here, but I think that will cause more negative attention and issues from the manufacturer.
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    • Profile picture of the author dave_hermansen
      Originally Posted by David C. View Post

      Thanks, Dave,

      Good point on troubleshooting guide. They already have the product! I'll leave it up though. Rather than letting it die, I'm thinking to link to my main product page in discreet link text, to pass the value on of the page. This page was actually linked to by a .gov page, giving it a super page value.

      As to the best generator page, that's something along the lines of what I'm thinking of doing. Before, it was pretty much a simple shallow "review" boosting the product line in question. And even with that, it ranked number one for several terms when looking for the best of this product.

      This was written a couple of years back. My research, writing and on-page seo knowledge has grown quite a bit since then. I'm going to make an actual real review of each major line, but this time with just a BIT more on the negatives of this brand (which there are plenty, and we know them!), and a bit more good towards the brand(s) we have good relationships with.

      Wondering what to do about actual product listings now... probably a straight 301 redirect to our main products page (this passes on ranking, I believe?). Was thinking of saying out of stock, buy here, but I think that will cause more negative attention and issues from the manufacturer.
      Yeah, I'm pretty sure leaving their products on your site could definitely cause legal issues so you definitely need to get rid of them. For now, you could re-direct them to similar products that you do carry but in the future, if you have a review of their product (where you recommend something else, of course), you would want to re-direct to those reviews.
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  • Profile picture of the author David C.
    What about a product with this url... a total loss? I'm thinking yes... with that url, or result in the SERPS, a customer will be thrown off if they get taken anywhere else.

    ourstore.com/why-Product-A-beats-all-competition
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    • Profile picture of the author dave_hermansen
      Originally Posted by David C. View Post

      What about a product with this url... a total loss? I'm thinking yes... with that url, or result in the SERPS, a customer will be thrown off if they get taken anywhere else.

      ourstore.com/why-Product-A-beats-all-competition
      Hardly anybody looks at URLs. What they DO look at is the headline (a.k.a. title tag) and the description that is shown (sometimes the actual meta description sometimes not).

      I'd re-purpose the page to be why Product A DOES NOT beat the competition.
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  • Profile picture of the author David C.
    Okay my friend, interesting point. Need to take this into consideration. Thanks
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    • Profile picture of the author dave_hermansen
      Originally Posted by David C. View Post

      Okay my friend, interesting point. Need to take this into consideration. Thanks
      If the URL bothers you, you can always re-direct it to a new one about why product A does not beat the competition.
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