Take these MediaWiki web pages for example:




All are "yet to be ever created" MediaWiki web pages.

How could I know the HTTP status code for each such web page?

  • They would return 200 as to MediaWiki they sort of do exist, they just don't have any content.
    – Steve
    Commented May 8, 2019 at 6:01
  • Do you think it's an SEO problem? Say, I have a MW website of 200 pages with content and 400 empty pages (Red internal links), should this be a major SEO problem?
    – user58733
    Commented May 8, 2019 at 6:19
  • What about pages with: There is currently no text on this page. You can search for the page title on other pages or search the page for logs, but you do not have permission to create the page.
    – user58733
    Commented May 8, 2019 at 9:36

1 Answer 1


I use curl on the command line to test whether or not a page returns a 404 status.

$ curl --head https://ecowiki.org.il/wiki/Aaaaaaaaaa
HTTP/2 404 

$ curl --head https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MAKMAKMAK
HTTP/2 404 

$ curl --head 'http://www.foodtech-portal.eu/index.php?title=Special:PdfPrint&page=Special%3AITPProfileFilter'
HTTP/1.1 200 OK

MediaWiki returns an appropriate 404 status for most yet to be created pages, but apparently not for the pdf print version.

It would certainly be better if MediaWiki returned a proper 404 status in all situations, however it shouldn't hurt your SEO if it doesn't. Google is good about detecting "soft 404" pages. That is pages that return a "200 OK" but which have no content or a "Not found" error message. Google treats a soft 404 the same way it does a true 404.

  • Special:ITPProfileFilter does exist, it just doesn't have any printable content. (Or not the type of content the PDF print extension would expect, anyway.)
    – Tgr
    Commented Jul 15, 2019 at 8:16

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