---- Google Panda Purge and Merge - Do 301 Redirects Work?
Zivush - 2:14 pm on Mar 15, 2012 (gmt 0)
Tedster please refer to this. I found this quote in the post "Do 404s hurt my site?" (the post is quite freshy May2011):
If youíre getting rid of that content entirely and donít have anything on your site that would fill the same user need, then the old URL should return a 404 or 410. Currently Google treats 410s (Gone) the same as 404s (Not found), so itís immaterial to us whether you return one or the other.