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