Google: Spammy Links Do Not Cause Soft 404 Errors

Jul 2, 2021 - 6:41 am 1 by

Google Spam Soft 404

Google's John Mueller said that spammy links to your site would not be the cause of soft 404 errors being displayed in Google Search Console. Honestly, I've never heard of this theory before, so it is new, and I figured I would share it. But I do not fully understand why someone would think spammy links would cause soft 404s.

I guess that if your 404 handling is not done correctly and someone posts a ton of fake links to your domain name but not to real URLs on your site. Then Googlebot tries to access those links and then sees a soft 404, instead of a real 404. But you should be serving up real 404 errors for URLs that do not exist on your site, you should not be serving a 200 status codes, they should be 404.

John said on Twitter "No, spammy links don't cause soft-404s."

Here are the tweets:

Forum discussion at Twitter.


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