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    Question How to remove a webpage with no longer information? ("Soft 404 errors")


    Hi.

    I have a website which used to show several hundreds of pages with information about digital cameras. I obtained that information from a provider, but I will no longer have access to that information.

    I found that hundreds of visitors accessed that webpages through Google SERPs, and I decided to show "<meta name='robots' content='noindex, nofollow'>" with a "No information about digital cameras" warning on the page, instead of a 404 error message.

    Now, Google is warning me about an Increase in "soft-404" pages, and that this "can cause a bad experience for your users". I'm not sure if the best way to remove a webpage with no longer information is using the noindex-nofollow headers, the 404 error message, or even the 410 error message.

    Thank you very much,
    -- T
    Last edited by tarmstrong; Nov 30th, 2016 at 02:30 PM.
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    I am not certain that I understand everything correctly. But in most every case, you would want to do a 301 redirect, to keep that traffic and send them to another page in your website. Are you totally phasing out digital cameras?

    Comments on this post

    • Will-O-The-Wisp agrees
    • KnowOneSpecial agrees
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    Originally Posted by tarmstrong
    Hi.
    Now, Google is warning me about an Increase in "soft-404" pages, and that this "can cause a bad experience for your users".
    You have created a page for 404 errors (should return a http 404 status code ) and in some cases you return a http 200 OK status. This is what a soft 404 is.

    Originally Posted by tarmstrong
    I'm not sure if the best way to remove a webpage with no longer information is using the noindex-nofollow headers, the 404 error message, or even the 410 error message.
    -- T
    If the page truly doesn't exist, explain it, then provide them your normal site navigation to get to a good page.
    This means you return a 404 code, Google doesn't index 404 pages (pages that return a 404 status), so no need for no-index no-follow.

    If you have removed the product completely from your site you should then 410 the page. Then possibly redirect to homepage, maybe a different page, depends.

    If you have a new url / page , then do what DirectHits suggest do. Perform a 301 to new url and keep the juice.

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