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[edited by: tedster at 5:18 pm (utc) on Aug 3, 2010]
Sorry... regarding OP's header for the post I have to ask how can one "accidentally" link to thousands of 404s? And worse, those pages were on site?I hope that was a rhetorical question because there is nothing easier than to add a single character into a script that runs a database-driven site and voila, you got yourself either thousands of 404s or a thousands of dupe content pages, depending on the situation. Been there, done that :( Or, were you essentially saying: "How can one be so careless"? Well, you didn't have to rub it in ...
Just waiting for indexing and traffic to come back.