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Misidentified Soft 404's in Webmaster Tools

esolutions
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Misidentified Soft 404's in Webmaster Tools

Hi,

Has anyone else had this problem? An important page of mine was currently deindexed and google webmaster tools shows it as a soft 404. It's not a soft 404 however, it works perfectly fine and even reports a 200 in google labs. They offer no way of rectifying the situation...
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faradina
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Joined: 01 Jun 09
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On the Wikipedia article HTTP 404, under the False 404 errors section, it says:
Soft 404s can occur as a result of configuration errors when using certain HTTP server software, for example with the Apache software, when an Error Document 404 (specified in a .htaccess file) is specified as an absolute path (e.g. http://example.com/error.html) rather than a relative path (/error.html)
so maybe you should check your .htaccess file.

I hope that helps.
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esolutions
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Hi Fara,

Thanks for the quick response. I have checked my .htaccess, and it is fine... The page is not a 404 in any way soft nor "hard", it's a real working page with real working content. Has been for 2 years! In fact, I have researched the issue for a total of 3 hours over the past few days and checked everything I could find to no avail:(
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michellerana
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Can you send your URL through the contact form at our support page. and I'll forward it to our technical staff?

Hope we can help.
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mikeantiga
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Soft 404 is a new feature or flag in Google Webmaster tools that deals with the content of the page. Please visit this thread from Google Webmaster Help forum for more information: Soft 404's Being Incorrectly Identified
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michellerana
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Can you try to correct the soft 404 error by following the instructions on this page?

Crawl Errors now reports soft 404s

Here’s a list of steps to correct soft 404s to help both Google and your users:

1. Check whether you have soft 404s listed in Webmaster Tools

2. For the soft 404s, determine whether the URL:

a. Contains the correct content and properly returns a 200 response (not actually a soft 404)

b. Should 301 redirect to a more accurate URL

c. Doesn’t exist and should return a 404 or 410 response

3. Confirm that you’ve configured the proper HTTP Response by using Fetch as Googlebot in Webmaster Tools

4. If you now return 404s, you may want to customize your 404 page to aid your users. Our custom 404 widget can help.
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Michelle
Customer Support


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esolutions
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Joined: 28 Apr 09
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Update:::

I did not find a solution, however, webmaster tools is no longer marking the page as a soft 404. It's still not back in the google listings however... Sigh...
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This topic was started on Dec 06, 2010 and has been closed due to inactivity. If you want to discuss this topic further, please create a new forum topic.

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