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Redirecting 404 links to a page with 410 response 0 Recommended Answers 7 Replies 2 Upvotes
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Hi all, 

We had a site which received a manual action, as it allowed files to be uploaded which were then indexed. All were removed and now return 404 errors. 

We know Google checks links which (used to) 404 every now and then, as they might have come back to life.

In this case, however, none of these 404 links will ever return, as they were spammy. We do NOT want Google to ever look at them again.

We have therefore forced all these 404 links to 301 redirect to a page with a 410 response. This means "permanently removed". 

Now, if Googlebot decides to re-crawl these spammy 404 links, which 301 redirect to a 410, then it would record that the page should never be crawled again.

We do not want these pages to ever show in the crawl errors section of search console, and this was the best plan we could come up with given the available documentation.

Is this sound logic? We can't find any documentation to record this.
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 page with a 410 response. This means "permanently removed". 
 
Yes, but in practice treats 410 pretty much sme a 404. Even 410s can come back sometimes. 
 
 to 301 redirect to a page with a 410 response.
 
But as you made them a REDIRECT, they could well just appears as 'Page with redirect' now. (and/or get conflated into other statues too!) 
 
A redirect implies, yes still available, just "moved". So Google is confused, is the page, moved or gone? Its getting conflicting messages. 
 
If want to use 410, make them return 410 directly. Don't introduce an EXTRA complication of redirects, That just confuses the matter further
 
 
Note that you can't make the 'Coverage' graph forget URLs as such. Once Google knows about a URL, it knows about the URL forever, it probably won't forget. The best can do is 'shunt' it off into a status, like the "Not Found" status/reason (with the 404/410). 
... that been said, it might decide to stop showing certain urls itself. But can't make it do that. 
 
 
(also by usinbg redirect, adding more urls! both the redirecting urls, and the destination of th redirect, both can show in Coverage!) 
 
 
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I agree with Barry, it is better if the URLs return direct status 404 than redirect, even if it is to redirect  to URLs with status 410. 
Redirects mean more crawling for Googlebots, and instead of crawling one URL with clear direct status 404 they need to crawl two URLs for each initial URL. 

The question about URLs with status 404 versus 410 with respect to how Google processes them has been often asked in the forum for years, and the answers from Googlers were always that it does not make much difference. 
If Google needs to recrawl a URL with status 404 or 410 to check it still returns that status, it will recrawl it, if it is 404 or 410. And because 404 is much more widely used than 410, probably Google is better used with 404 for processing etc. 

What matters to some extent is links, you need to check that there are no links to those URLs. If there are links Googlebot will have to add those URLs to its crawling schedule.
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In this case, You will be having "Soft 404" being considered by Google... They will also appear in your GSC Index Coverage Report and will be dealt like soft 404
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If the redirect is to a URL with status 410 it cannot be soft 404, it will be resulting status 410 but with an extra step through the redirect. 
Soft 404 has resulting status 200 OK, direct or after redirect.
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Thanks Cristina for correcting me ... Will check it later
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I am sure you know this Google help article about soft 404, please note that it mentions resulting status 200 OK 
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Thanks Cristina ... You are correct
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