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How to Handle Soft 404 Error

Discussion in 'White Hat SEO' started by limousine374, Aug 20, 2013.

  1. limousine374

    limousine374 Newbie

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    My webmaster tools shows this error ( soft 404)..........how to handle it with google policies. Kindly help?
     
  2. Endire

    Endire Elite Member Premium Member

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    Limousine,

    You could either leave it or redirect it to a working page. Note that having 404 errors will not hurt your site.

    Hope that helps,

    Shawn
     
  3. DarkMatrix

    DarkMatrix Registered Member

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    If a page that is returning a 404 has little to no value (no backlinks to it), then in most cases I won't worry about a 404 header response. BUT if a page has some backlinks, I'll 301 it to a similar page. :)
    Hope this helps and good luck!
     
  4. LinkBuildingServices

    LinkBuildingServices Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    If there are no links pointing for that page you shouldn't be worry. But if you really have some links for that page I strongly recommend you to redirect it or make it works, otherwise you are taking a risk to be under Google suspect. 404 pages which have some links looks completely unnatural to Google and Google may think that you have purchased those links. You can read much more info about at linksmanagement.com
     
  5. subster

    subster Elite Member

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    What? Please explain the last point a bit more (without your really bad guerilla marketing - psst: wont't help, just destroys your reputation). Thanks.
     
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  6. dinkish

    dinkish Power Member

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    Maybe I'm missing this point, but unless you submitted an erroroneous sitemap, if there weren't "any backlinks", how would the 404 be produced in the first place?

    Firstly, I'd make a custom 404 page to start with, just so there wasn't a crappy 404 message, because a lot of people don't even know what the hell this error code means.

    Secondly, check the referring backlinks to see if any of the referrers are worth a damn (DA/PA or PR, traffic) and 301 redirect based on referrer to the most relevant page you have as mentioned previously.