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I have a website with a lot of user content. This content can be deleted.
Right now, when someone lands on a deleted content, I send a 404 with a custom page telling "this content was been deleted, here's a list of other content you might find interesting".

All of this is fine for the user perspective.

When I open up Google Webmaster Tools, I often get a bunch of items in the error report telling me I have 404 pages. I kinda don't like having items in that list.

I'm I doing this right? Should I really send a 404 on deleted content? (are there alternative)

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1 Answer 1

up vote 1 down vote accepted

There's nothing wrong with that, and the alternative is treated the same way by google.

From Google's Webmaster Tools:

"If you’re getting rid of that content entirely and don’t have 
anything on your site that would fill the same user need, then 
the old URL should return a 404 or 410. Currently Google treats 
410s (Gone) the same as 404s (Not found)."
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