Google: We Only Discover Links On Pages With 200 Status Codes

Aug 26, 2015 • 8:23 am | comments (9) by twitter | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization
 

The other day, we explained that even links on soft 404 pages are not followed by Google. We knew this was the case with hard 404s but we were not confident about that with soft 404 pages.

Soft 404 pages are pages that return a 200 status code but in reality should be returning a 404 status code, it is incredibly common to see this practice.

But Google's John Mueller added one more tidbit on Twitter saying that first, Google needs to determine if the page should be a soft 404 or not.

So it crawls a page, it returns a 200 status. But then Google has to analyze the page to determine if the page should be really a 404. So maybe at some point before the soft 404 label is associated with the page, Google may crawl the links on the page and pass link juice? But after the soft 404 label is associated with it, all of that goes away?

John Mueller said that Google will only crawl links on pages that return a 200 status code.

Forum discussion at Twitter.

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