Recently,  Google has updated its way of detecting soft 404s but results in loss of traffic for some websites.  John Mueller of Google answered a question on a problem from Google’s end which is related to detecting soft 404 error on the websites. Mueller simply says there is no fault on the website owner’s end. It is happening as Google has made some changes in the process.


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What is Soft 404?

A 404 error response is sent by the web page to the web browser or to the search engine by telling them the page they are looking for is not present.

A soft 404 error code comes when the web page has too short or no content and it should be redirected to the 404 pages from the owner’s end. it can also happen when a user is redirected from one web page to another web page which is no longer exist on the Google database.

John Mueller says that websites might see some drop in the ranking or even can see some drop in their website traffic as well. It is totally happening because of how Google is selecting soft 404 pages.

Question Asked

We got a serious problem with a project at the moment since last week. We got only for the Google desktop bot, we got soft 404 errors.

…The rankings daily decreasing only for desktop rankings and we don’t know what is error. We can’t find a solution for that.

There are other people who have similar problems.

Mueller Answer

As far as I could tell from the information I have so far… is it’s essentially a small change we made in the soft 404 detection and how that’s picking things up in weird ways.

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