What is Soft 404 error and how to fix Soft 404 errors?
A soft 404 error occurs when a URL cannot be found on the web server, but the server returns a 200-level code (successful) to the browser instead of a 404 error (not found) or a 301 redirect to another URL. Soft 404s are particularly a problem for search engines because success code can cause non-existent pages to appear in search results.
In order to fix the soft 404 error, you must first check if the page is really a soft 404 or a false alarm. After that you can:
- Configure the server to return the proper not found error code (404 or 410)
- Redirect the page using a 301 redirection.
- Improve the page and request indexing.
- Keep the page without changes but de-index it from search engines and disallow bots.