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What does soft 404 error mean? Are Soft 404s bad?

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ShreeVaghani:
How do I fix a soft 404 error?
What is 404 error message used for? How do I avoid 404 error?

DavidMull:
A soft 404 is a URL that returns a page telling the user that the page does not exist and also a 200 (success) status code. Returning a success status code, rather than 404 (not found) , 410 (gone) , or 301 (permanent redirect) , is a bad practice.

mialucas297156:
The 404 or Not Found error message is a HTTP standard response code indicating that the client was able to communicate with a given server, but the server could not find what was requested.

Basically, Soft 404 is a page that looks like a 404 but returns a HTTP status code 200. I mean, the website might show a “Page Not Found”-style page, but search engines such as Google will see the page and think that it’s an actual live page.

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