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I was checking out one of my company's website's Webmaster Tools to analyze the cause behind some soft 404 errors and discovered that a few of the older errors had affiliate mp referral tags listed as the relative URLs. Since these are older problems and I don't seem too many of them coming up in the last few months I don't think it's still a problem. I'm just curious if it's possible to cause a soft 404 by improperly copying the campaign or referral tag into the URL.

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In some MVC, campaign trackers can soft 404 during a platform side route/redirect even if the campaign rewrite on url was successful. I can think of one popular ecom platform that does this causing false 404 positives on every single tracker rewrite it makes.

It can straight break the redirect too if its a software side thing. If the page is generated from query, and query fails from misunderstood URi, it could result in a header/footer loading a blank body (not even a 404) in which case google would think its soft 404.

Can you log your requests/rewrites to see whats up or would that crush your server?

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I can't do that at the moment but as I said back when I posted this, it seems those particular soft 404 errors were old and whatever caused the issue doesn't seem to be around anymore. Thanks for the answer though. –  user35306 Oct 28 at 21:12

Yes, it is possible. Every parameter you add to URL makes it different from the primary. So, you should be accurate while adding tags or other parameters to your URLs.

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Agree it is possible, though incorrect URLs should return a true 404 and not a soft 404. So I would investigate how your server handles incorrect requests.

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