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January 18th, 2011

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Currently our dsIDXpress plugin only displays active and (when available) contingent IDX listings; sold and other pending listings are not displayed. Some MLSes do allow the display of sold and other pending listing data, so this may change in the future… but for now it’s just active and contingent that the plugin will display.

Once a listing is no longer active or pending, these things will automatically happen on their own:

  • the listing’s detail page will be deleted from your blog
  • any listing info will disappear from any thumbnail list of properties on your site, including:
    • shortcode-generated property lists
    • widgets
    • search results and links

If a visitor has a bookmark to the listing’s detail page or otherwise the page comes up in a Google search (due to caching), they will see a 404 error page. This is intentional.

We understand this error page can be confusing for some of your visitors, but rest-assured that this is the best overall solution; the decision was not made lightly…

  1. If we did not remove inactive listing data we could violate IDX display rules for many of our MLS areas.
  2. Possibly more importantly: leaving so many pages online on your blog (or replacing so many pages with the same “this listing is no longer available” notice on them) will dilute the number of pages with new data on your site; resulting in a possible ratings drop over time.

If you are concerned about visitors seeing the 404 error page, WordPress does offer the ability to edit the content of your 404 page. Links back to your main search, area links, or other added navigation are all items you may want to consider adding to your 404 pages.

Additionally, Diverse Solutions may offer a easy method to customize your blog’s 404 page to help with this issue in the future.

Q. I’ve customized my 404 page, but I’m still concerned about the number of 404 hits I’m registering in my Analytics. I think a better solution would be to somehow reroute the dead pages to our home page or to the search page. Could DS design a feature that does that? There are plug-ins out there designed to do just that, but you must designate a forward page for each dead link – something we couldn’t possibly do.

A. Re-directing to the homepage or any type of re-direct gives search engines the impression the page has moved or is replaced with another page… which is not the case. If a listing is removed, the page is removed. There may be plugins to work-around this, but it could be very detrimental to your SEO, so we do not offer any form of redirecting.