Status Code: 404 not found
Status Code: 404 not found

A 404 not found status code are generally served by default when servers cannot find the requested URL. For example, if you tried accessing a page which has been deleted, or you have clicked on a broken link you will likely receive a 404 status code.

Please see an example of a 404 status code below, using Ayima’s Chrome extension Redirect Path.

Ayima Redirect Path
Ayima Redirect Path

 

Generally, if you permanently remove a page you should always serve a 410 status code, as search engines that encounter a 404 status code will continue to crawl the page, hoping it will eventually serve a 200 status code. Internal experiments showed Bing continues to crawl a 404 page after 1 year of serving a 404 status code, whereas Google will continue to crawl a 404 page for approximately 6 months.

 

SOFT 404 PAGES

These are pages which serve a not found message, but load via a 200 status code as opposed to a 404. If your website serves soft 404 errors, Google’s crawler will likely detect them and display them under ‘Soft 404’ as demonstrated below.

Soft 404 Errors
Soft 404 Errors

 

HARD 404 PAGES

These are pages which serve a not found message whilst also serving a 404 status code. Google highly recommend users to choose the hard 404 as opposed to the soft 404 method.

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