Google's John Mueller was having fun this morning when he posted on Google+ "Time for HTTP 418. Every site should have one."
The HTTP 418 server status code was an April Fools Joke back in 1998. No one is expected to use the status code but if you do, how does Google treat it?
John had to add in the comments of his post:
FWIW I wouldn't see this as a direct ranking factor (we'll treat it as other 4xx HTTP result codes), sorry.
So they treat it as other 4xx status codes, I assume the 404 over the 410?
John then had to give more disclaimers, well, because he is a face for Google now:
Also, if people link to the teapot on your site, it might give you traffic, but those links aren't going to be passing PageRank. That said, sharing tea with your visitors is a great way to start a more personal relationship with them :).
Then he adds:
If a server says it's a teapot, you should accept that. It would be impolite to ask for coffee :). Just tip it over, and pour it out into a cup!
Let's see an influx of 418s being returned now.
Image credit to etsy.com where you can buy the cool t-shirt.
Forum discussion at Google+.
Update: Google has their own teapot page at google.com/teapot and it returns a 418 status code. Here is a picture of the page:
Also, when you go to the page on your mobile device, you can actually tilt the device and have the tea come out of the spout and into the cup.
Here is also an animated GIF: