What are Soft 404 ?

In reality soft 404 is not a Status code. It’s a Google representation of a page within their index. Search Console will show a soft 404 error in the site’s Index Coverage report. It is a URL that returns a page telling the user that the page actually does not exist and also sends a 200 status code that means success code.  In most cases page with no content and it’s redirected into home page. In Some cases developer doesn’t know how to create a 404 (not found) page. If you have such developer you will be struggle to do SEO.  In some other cases servers that are poorly configured.

Difference between Soft 404 and 404

Soft 404

Its combination of not found and Success code. Instead of 404 (not found), 410 (gone), or 301 (permanent redirect) pages will returns success status code. Page with Soft 404 send a success status code to search engines. As a result that URL consider as real page.  Search engines will continue trying to crawl Soft 404 page instead of crawling your real pages.

How to fix soft 404 ?

Check for link error: collect list of all link errors. It must be listed in search console you can download the full list from there.

Fix it!!!

Create a good custom 404 page and add links to your most popular posts, or use web site’s home page. Don’t do redirection to home page or any other pages. It’s a bad practice.

Crawled and indexed page is not found or missing use 301 or 302 you can use URL Inspection tool to examine the rendered content and the returned HTTP code