Just had an email from webmaster tools warning me about "transient soft 404 errors" on my site. The email says that the errors may indicate an "outage", but I don't think that's the problem.
The email gave some examples of the pages that are causing the trouble. The pages are all on the calendar part of my new forum. Originally I had the calendar open to guests as well as registered users, but then I shut it off to guests. And, of course, that means I shut it off to googlebot.
I'm using a very well-known forum software. The problem pages all return 200 codes (I've checked) and they all now have the same content on them - a message saying "You're not logged in, please log in to see this page" etc etc. The pages don't redirect anywhere, so they all have urls like mysite.com/forum/calender.php?787878 with differing strings of numbers.
So...I'm confused as to what is happening here and what google would like me to do. Why are these pages giving a soft 404 if they are returning a 200 response and have text on them? Should they be giving a 401 instead?