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Proper http response - webmaster tools saying: Increase in not found errors

4:52 pm on Sep 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

Hi Everyone,

I changed my site about 4-5 months ago to send 404 response errors when my dynamic content can not longer be displayed on my site.

Now, Google webmaster tools keeps sending me messages that they are finding an increase in not found errors and that I should check for broken links, etc. However, when my content expires, it removes all links to the expired content right away. Is there something else I should be doing, or be doing different to let serps know my content is going? Or should I not give a 404 response and just redirect to relevant content?

When looking at some competing sites, I see that their content cannot even be found in Google search after their content is removed from their sites...but me giving a 404 seems to keep the indexes for quite some time.

Any advise?

Thanks in advance!
6:43 pm on Sep 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

I recommend to use a "410 - Gone" response
7:19 pm on Sep 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member g1smd is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Google respiders every URL they have ever seen forever.

Sending 404, or better yet 410, is the right thing to do.
7:56 pm on Sep 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month

Read this slowly:

A reported error does not necessarily mean you have done anything wrong or need to do anything differently.

6:32 pm on Sep 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

Oh okay, thought so but when webmaster tools started sending me quite of a few same errors I thought I'd just check.

Thank you all for your input and I'll swap the 404 w/ a 410. Thanks!

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