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410 pages serving 500?

     
11:03 pm on Jun 14, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I 410ed pages.

Many serve 401 status.

But half are serving 500 status (according to a bulk status code checker).

Anyone know why, and if I need to fix this?
8:28 am on June 15, 2019 (gmt 0)

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500 is an unspecified server error, usually found when there is a request condition the server cannot meet. Have you checked any of the pages individually to rule out the bulk-checker?

Many things could cause it - temporary time-outs and glitches are not uncommon - and if individual checking of the pages gives a correct response (whatever that should be) then it could just be that the bulk-checker is/was overloading the server.

If some pages are permanently giving 500 errors there is something mis-configured on the server, in which case yes, you need to find what that is and fix it.
4:08 pm on June 15, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Anyone know why, and if I need to fix this?
Are you concerned about your server, or about G###'s reaction to server messages? Since this is the Google subforum, it sounds as if youíre only worried about G###.

If itís a question about the server, you need to ask in the appropriate subforum--IIS or Apache--with all possible details including first-hand observation and information from raw server logs. No ďbulk status code checkerĒ will tell you what is causing a problem, or what action you need to take, in your specific server.

Like all computers, servers are stupid. We humans know that when someone says 401 they mean 410; the server doesnít.
6:35 am on June 16, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Your server logs will generally give better info than any third party stuff ... check not only the main raw log, but the error logs as well.
5:52 pm on June 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Hi guys!

Thanks for your responses.

@lucy24 I'm more concerned about G#####. I want a 410 status so they stop crawling and hopefully remove my deleted pages from the index faster.

Would someone explain how to check the server logs? I'd like to see status code for each individual page so I can compare with my bulk checker. Thanks!
8:30 pm on June 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

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how to check the server logs
Well, first step is to get your server logs. If youíre on shared hosting, paw through the documentation to find out where they live; typically they wonít be in the same directory as your site(s). If itís your own server, ask your server administrator to pull a few daysí worth.

Server logs--both access and error--are plain-text files that can be opened in any text editor. The exact format will depend on your server type and configuration, but each request will always be a separate line and youíll quickly figure out how it works.

:: detour here to see what error logs (as opposed to access logs) record for a 410, because Iíve never happened to inquire ::

:: delayed return after dealing with alarming discovery that Iíve been including the wrong footer for one file, though fortunately it was a non-lethal blunder ::

I donít know if this is the universal norm, but Apache error logs donít record 410s, possibly because it isnít technically an error. So stick with the ordinary access logs.

:: wandering off again to see if manual 404s show up in error logs (Spoiler: They donít, again understandably) ::
10:29 pm on June 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@TomSnow ... logs are often located in the folder(s) above your site (www)

Also check for "log rotation" (how often updated/deleted before new one is created)