Tuesday, August 12, 2008We see two kinds of 404 ("File not found") responses on the web: "hard 404s" and "soft 404s." We discourage the use of so-called "soft 404s" because they can be a confusing experience for users and search engines. Instead of returning a 404 response code for a non-existent URL, websites that serve "soft 404s" return a 200 response code . The content of the 200 response is often the homepage of the site, or an error page. How does a soft 404 look to the user? Here's a mockup of a soft 404: This site returns a 200 response code and the site's homepage for URLs that don't exist.
Farewell to soft 404s
Except as otherwise noted, the content of this page is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License, and code samples are licensed under the Apache 2.0 License. For details, see the Google Developers Site Policies. Java is a registered trademark of Oracle and/or its affiliates.
Last updated 2008-08-12 UTC.