Does Google hate out of stock products?
I've seen a few Shopify stores unpublish products when they are out of stock instead of just letting them be out of stock.
When I asked why, it was because they thought Google doesn't like out of stock products.
I'm not sure where they heard this from, but let me set the record straight.
Google is perfectly fine with products being out of stock.
If they weren't, why would stores see out of stock in their Rich Results?
With that said, ads are different from organic. Google doesn't want you to advertise out of stock products on Google Shopping.
If you look at it as a best/worst option of Google's preferences, a 404 page is the worst it can get.
So if your products are out of stock, please don't just remove them from your website. Especially if you expect the product to come back in stock in the near future.
There is a better option!
Instead, let the product be out of stock and recommend an alternative product.
Linking Llama allows you to link to another comparable product without compromising the active product page.
By linking to an alternative product, you give the customer a path to learn more about your product offerings and it keeps them on your site longer.