tedster - 5:56 pm on Jun 13, 2010 (gmt 0)
There's an odd disconnect in the SERPs lately -- more error message pages seem to be ranking than I remember for a long time. Those that I've seen are "soft error messages", in that they serve a 200 http status even though the on-page text content is an error message.
With Webmaster Tools now alerting site owners about soft errors, you'd think that Google has the technology in place to trap these pages and not rank them, wouldn't you -- not even for the long tail. So it seems to be another sign that a SITE quality dial is cranked way up, and page quality or page relevance measures are dialed back.
I would have thought this kind of thing should not have slipped through Google's pre-rollout quality checks, but apparently it did. Or maybe I'm just unlucky in the sample I see and it's not an index-wide problem