I use Autoptimize (AO) for pagespeed optimization. Everything is good on that front, but I notice that I often get 404 pages in my logs, typically from Google and other bots (I assume), trying to access old AO JS files that were purged/overwritten. There are a few threads on this in the AO WordPress support forum and the consensus approach seems to be to use .htaccess to change those 404 responses to 410 but nobody really discussed what impact this might have on SEO.
I am not knowledgeable about SEO but I did read a bit on the difference between 404 and 410. I get the idea and it makes sense when I think about an entire page. But, in this case, the original page that referenced the now missing JS files is still alive and working, except it now calls on a different AO-generated external JS script.
So, maybe my question is too general/vague, but I am wondering what the implications are from a search engine perspective? Is the idea of sending 410 responses a good solution to this issue? If not, any idea of a better way to handle things?