When products are disabled or deleted from a store, this makes these pages disappear from the website and then Google will begin throwing error 400 messages in WebMaster Tools.
I also checked my site on google and there has been a 98% drop in the pages I carried after setting a large number of products as Disabled.
Are products that are no longer carried better off being set to Out Of Stock or Disabled and/or Deleted and allow Google to reindex?
I was thinking of exporting these disabled / deleted products to a CSV file and then manually put a redirect in my .htaccess file.
What is the best method for SEO purposes to deal with Disabled or Deleted products in a store?
EDIT: Just read in the Google Webmaster forums that a 410 redirect for pages that are no longer exist is the recommended method but there was no real difference between 404 and 410.
I've made a backup of my database, exported the URL keys for these products and created Redirect gone entries with a 410 page that is a blurred out CMS page that looks like my standard product page showing that the product is no longer available.
I'm still interested in the proper way of handling this is though or if my method is an acceptable way to handle this.