What is the difference between a soft 404 error and a 404 error? What is the ideal solution to fix a soft 404 error?

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How is a soft 404 error different than a regular 404 error code, and what is the proper way to solve for soft 404s?
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Marketing Technologist
A soft 404 simply means your server isn't returning a 404 error code for a missing page, when it should be.

To fix it, you'll need to configure Apache (or whatever web server you're using) to return a 404 error code for all missing pages. Rather than redirecting the user and returning a 200.

Here's a brief overview from Google:


The pages are still there - there should be no 404.
Lucas BishopMarketing Technologist

If the pages are not missing, then whoever is reporting the Soft 404 is likely mistaken.

Put the url of the page into a header check tool or use this browser extension to check on what your server is actually reporting:

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