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It's really just a rhetorical question now - Jeeves has been banned and I don't care about the loss in traffic.
That bald, old wanker has less wits than a drunken Man U hooligan...
Ahhh, I feel a bit better now!
However, Jeeves apparently does not understand what a 410-Gone response means. It takes them about a year to get that one right, IIRC.
My intent here is not to be picky, but just to highlight that the correct response for a file that was intentionally removed and is being requested via HTTP/1.1 [w3.org] is a 410-Gone. The earlier HTTP/1.0 does not define 410-Gone, leaving only the ambiguous 404 response... Which is how we (and Jeeves) got into this mess in the first place.
> My intent here is not to be picky [...]
Yes, you are correct, and I don't consider it to be picky to point out the differences between a 404 and 410 response. (Coincidentally, I just re-read what RFC2616 had to say about those earlier today as I scrolled my way down to read up on 502 Bad Gateway - darn corporate proxy servers!)
I think I'm guilty of expecting bots to understand that when I serve a 404 that means the resource is gone, due to the poor implementation (on the SEs' side) of the 410 response. IIRC, only Google deals with it properly, but I shouldn't be quoted on that!