aakk9999 - 10:16 am on Aug 1, 2013 (gmt 0)
Me too... But unless someone is redirecting to a 404/410 rather than serving a custom 404/410 for the requested URL, then I think we're both saying the same thing.
"The URL requested will serve a 404/410 response code with a custom page that also includes an noindex meta tag." -- I think that's what we're both saying we prefer and do.
I am wondering if we are talking the same thing. Lets say there is page A that should be returning 404. And lets say there is a dynamically generated content that is returned as HTML together with response 404. This content is what you want visitors to see for the page that is not found, i.e. this is custom 404 page. Lets also assume you cannot request this custom 404 page on its own - it has no URL and the HTML is only generated as a result of requesting the page that does not exist.
Having noindex within this HTML that is sent alongside 404 response is obsolete and will not speed up Google removing the original page out of its index.
On the other side, putting noindex in HTML that arrives with 404 response will do no harm, so if you prefer, you can do it but it will make no difference whatsoever.