TheMadScientist - 2:39 pm on Nov 11, 2012 (gmt 0)
A 301 v 302 and 404 v 410 are not critical mistakes these days phraque ... Really, they're not ... Yes, one is 'more accurate' than the other in each case, but the statement lucy24 makes about making search engines 'happy' by using a 410 rather than a 404 is inaccurate again ... Your site's rankings will not change because you adjust your 404s to 410s ... You won't move from 10 to 9 or 107 to 106 even because you change the status code for a page that's not there any more from a 404 to 410.
Google will stop requesting a page with a 410 sooner and will not request it as soon again when it has a 410, but over time a 404 on the same page will behave in exactly the same way, and again, your rankings will not change due to the use of one or the other. Your WMT notices will drop off sooner with a 410, but that's the only difference ... lucy24 posts a bunch, and you're very quick to jump to her defense, but posting constantly !== constantly correct.