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We have a dynamic website built on Angular.js and node.js. The website's home page is not getting indexed on Google and gets a 'soft 404' error. Although the website is working fine and most of the pages are getting indexed, we come across the soft 404 issue only on the home page. We are using prerender.io for prerendering angular pages. What might cause this problem? screenshot of error

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Your prerender isn't working for the home page. I used the Chrome user agent switcher to change my user agent to Googlebot:

Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; Googlebot/2.1; +http://www.google.com/bot.html)

Then I viewed the home page of your site. It came up blank. The source code is simply:

<html><head></head><body></body></html>

Google reports blank pages as a "soft 404" error in Google Search Console. Although a soft 404 could also indicate other problems like the page having no "Not Found" in the title.

Using prerender just for bots is not a good idea. You won't see when the prerender isn't working.

You should be able to use the Inspect Live URL feature in Google Search Console to verify this problem. You should also be testing your prerender yourself using your own crawler as part of your quality assurance.

  • Thanks a lot, Stephen. We were able to identify the error with the user agent switcher. – user101070 Jun 10 at 9:51

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