Google: The Idea That 404s Lead To Google Penalties Is Utterly Wrong

Aug 7, 2015 - 6:52 am 14 by

Google Penalty CardsTo pretty much everyone who reads this site, this is a no brainer, but there are some people out there that think having a site with some 404ed pages will lead to a Google Penalty.

Sound crazy? Well, it isn't worse than thinking you need to noindex your site when you go on vacation. But that is a different story. :)

Yes, when a page on your site goes 404 (page not found), Google will eventually delist it from it's index. But a 404 means the page is not found. So Google won't list it because you specifically said there is no page. That is not a penalty, that is a directive you are communicating to Google and your users.

Gary Illyes from Google made it crystal clear, if it wasn't clear for you before:

Then he was asked the question a different way:

Also, soft 404s do not lead to penalties, Google told us that also. But you can use 404s to help with existing penalties. You can 404 pages with bad links pointing to it, it kinda acts like a powerful disavow and bad links to 404 pages do not hurt you or the overall site.

In any event, 404s do not lead to penalties, but it does lead Google to deindex the page with the 404.

Forum discussion at Twitter.

 

Popular Categories

The Pulse of the search community

Follow

Search Video Recaps

 
Video Details More Videos Subscribe to Videos

Most Recent Articles

Search Forum Recap

Daily Search Forum Recap: February 23, 2024

Feb 23, 2024 - 4:00 pm
Search Video Recaps

Search News Buzz Video Recap: Google Helpful Content System, Reddit’s Google Deal, Product Variant Schema, Google Ads, Bing Search & Search Volume Predictions

Feb 23, 2024 - 8:01 am
Google Ads

Google Ad Strength For PMAX To Weigh Assets Quantity & Variety More As AI Expands

Feb 23, 2024 - 7:51 am
Google Search Engine Optimization

Google: You Decide What Old Content Is Helpful Or Not

Feb 23, 2024 - 7:41 am
Google

No Joke: Google Is Paying Reddit For More Content, More Often

Feb 23, 2024 - 7:31 am
Google Ads

Google Ads API Version 16 Now Available

Feb 23, 2024 - 7:21 am
Previous Story: Google Updates The AdWords Android App With Billing & More Reporting