TheMadScientist - 8:58 pm on Nov 27, 2012 (gmt 0)
Top Contributor at Google Webmaster Forums
There are those here too who contribute a bunch of posts (as far as count goes) but don't really have the knowledge level to back up their statements or assessments of situations in many cases, and, again 404 Errors are different than Links to 404 Error Pages.
Also, many people post with a distinct lack of precision in their wording, so you have to 'insert commonsense' on many occasions to 'get the right answer' from what they have to say.
404 Errors on a site are not an issue.
Links to 404 Error Pages likely are.
Unless you get the distinction between Links to 404 Error Pages and having 404 Errors reported in WMT (or your stats) you won't see what I'm saying.
Google says 404 Errors are not an issue (it's true), but if you can find anywhere they (not some poster on some other forum or even here, but an actual Google rep. or somewhere in their help/guidelines) explicitly state "Links to 404 Error Pages are not an issue.", please, link the source.
### Short Version ###
404 Errors = Not a Problem
Links to 404 Error Pages = Bad User Experience = Problem