HTTP Status Codes and Difference Between 404 vs Soft 404 Error

HTTP Status Codes- 404 Vs Soft 404 Error | What You Need to Know

 .When a browser or search engine crawler submits a request to fetch a page, an HTTP status codes is sent back in response. We can determine the state of the page based on the response code that was delivered.

There is a lengthy number of HTTP(HyperText Transfer Protocol) status codes, and each one specifies a particular set of circumstances. We will describe the distinction between 404 and soft 404 errors in this blog article. Find out by reading on!

HTTP Status Codes- 404 Vs Soft 404 Error

When a browser requests a webpage, a status code is returned that indicates whether the request was successful and, if not, why.

Officially known as HTTP status codes, these replies are transmitted using what is known as HTTP response codes.

The 404 page not found status code is one of the five kinds of response codes that a server offers; this article primarily discusses this response.

What 404 Error Response Code?

The 404 error response code indicates that the requested resource could not be found on the server. This is a client-side error, meaning that the client has requested a resource that doesn’t exist on the server. The HTTP 404 error message is typically displayed in the browser when a user attempts to access a website page that cannot be found.

Why 404 Page not found Happens

  • If a webpage is accidentally deleted, the server replies with a 404 page not found message.
  • If a link is made to an invalid webpage, the server will respond that the page could not be found (404).

What is a Soft 404 Error?

A soft 404 error refers to a situation where a website returns a “404 Not Found” error message, but the page that is returned does not indicate that the content is missing or unavailable. Instead, it may show a page with content that is similar to what the user was looking for or a page with a message saying “The page you are looking for cannot be found.” These soft 404 pages can confuse users and also lead to incorrect search engine indexing, as search engines may think that the content is still available on the site.

While the server displays a webpage and replies with a 200 OK status code, signaling success when the webpage or content is really missing, the scenario is referred to as a “soft 404.” in website Designing Course in Noida you Get in-depth Information About 404 and how to fix Easily through the you will get Theoretical Knowledge whish is not enough Practical is good for Experience now lets finish The Thing we started Before:

Four Common Reasons for A Soft 404

A webpage is missing, and a server sends 200 OK status

When a page is missing but the server configuration leads users to the home page or a custom URL, a soft 404 error occurs.

The publisher has taken action to satisfy the request for the missing page even if the page is no longer there.

Content is missing or “thin.”

A 200 status code indicates that the request for the page was successful when there is no content at all or very little material (also known as thin content).

Search engines, however, refer to the indexing of unsuccessful webpage queries as soft 404s.

The missing page redirects to the home page.

Some people wrongly think that a 404 error answer is problematic.

Therefore, even if the homepage is not what was requested, a publisher may redirect the missing page there in order to end the 404 error results.

These 404 errors are what Google refers to as soft 404s.

Missing page redirected to a custom webpage.

When missing pages redirect to a specially created website that returns a 200 status code, Google classifies these sites as soft 404s.

Soft 404 Due To Coding Errors

There are instances where the page isn’t actually gone, but certain issues (such as code mistakes) have caused Google to classify it as such.

Soft 404s must be looked at since they may indicate faulty code.

Typical coding issues:

A webpage that is meant to include content has a missing file or inclusion.

  • A database bug.
  • JavaScript is absent.
  • Vague pages of search results.

HTTP Status Codes 404 Errors Have Two Main Causes

  • A typographical mistake in the link leads readers to a nonexistent page.
  • A link to a page that was once there but has since vanished.

Linking Error

You must correct the URLs if a linking error is to blame for the 404.

Finding all the broken links on a website is the challenging aspect of this process. Crawling huge, sophisticated sites with hundreds of millions of pages might be more difficult.

Crawling instruments are useful in situations like these.

There are various possibilities for site crawler software, including the free options Xenu and Greenflare as well as the premium options Screaming Frog, DeepCrawl, Botify, Sitebulb, and OnCrawl, many of which include free trial versions or free but restricted functionality versions.

Other Things to Remember about 404 and Soft 404 Error

The most crucial thing to keep in mind regarding 404 errors is that nothing can be done to correct them if the pages are indeed gone. In response to requests for pages that don’t exist, a 404 answer is acceptable.

However, if the pages are present but on a different URL, that has to be fixed. You may do this by rerouting a broken link to the correct URL, adding a page that was lost, or rerouting the old URL to the new page that took its place.

A problem that has to be identified and rectified is always the cause of a soft 404.

Maintaining a website’s top performance requires an understanding of the various 404 errors.


The terms “404 page” vs “soft 404 error” are not interchangeable. It is a sign that there is a problem with the page since the crawlers do not see it as a trustworthy page. But much with 404 pages, if you do not address soft 404 issues every once. Google may begin deindexing your pages, which might reduce traffic to your website if they are crucial sites. The ideal strategy is to run a crawling tool over your website frequently to look for 404 and thin pages. To assist you in repairing these mistakes, you must have access to a crawling tool, and Screaming Frog is one of the greatest and most highly suggested options through this you can Analyze Website and Get More Organic Traffic.

Have you ever made any of these mistakes? What was the fix for them? Comment below with your thoughts and let us know.

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