From time to time the question as to how Google handles 404 and 410 error codes comes up. So it’s good to understand the differences. Google’s John Mueller answered an interesting question about web pages that no longer exist and how a web publisher should handle it.
How Google Handles 404/410 Status Codes
In a recent Webmaster Hangout, Google’s John Mueller received the following question:
“If a 404 error goes to a page that doesn’t exist, should I make them a 410?”
John Mueller answered:
“From our point of view, in the mid term/long term, a 404 is the same as a 410 for us. So in both of these cases, we drop those URLs from our index.