since mid of this month, an Excel file that used to be indexed in Google Search is reported as a Soft 404 on Search Console

File: https://neoschronos.com/assets/lean-canvas.xls

We have multiple Excel, Powerpoint, Word, ... files indexed and working as per https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/35287?hl=en so it is not clear to us what the origin of the error is for this specific file.

What we have done to remedy the issue

  1. Downloaded the file in multiple browsers inspecting network traffic and response headers - same file is returned, same response headers (as expected)
  2. Inspected the URL in Search Console - this shows the Soft 404
  3. Checked with Google robots.txt tester to ensure Google sees the file - answer is yes
  4. Checked the HTTP response codes using httpstatus.io - return Status 200 and same headers as we saw in step 1.
  5. Submitted the file for Validation to Google - Google Search Console came back with "Validation Failed".

Before we resubmit for New Validation, I would appreciate if you have any ideas on what we may have missed in our testing process?

Many thanks



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