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In my Search Console, I have some 404 links. Those links belong to pages that are deleted. I read online and realized that I should return 410 (Gone) for those pages. Yet Google Search Console does not recognize my 410 code and still shows 404 to me.

Even when I use START NEW VALIDATION 404 would be shown to me.

So, why Google Search Console does not recognize my 410 codes?

And do I do the right thing here? Should I return 410 for pages that are gone forever?

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  • How are you returning the 410 codes? Does your log file show them as 410 or 404? Yes, 410 codes are appropriate here.
    – davidgo
    Apr 29, 2023 at 11:45
  • How long has it been since you made changes? As with any changes you make, you need to give Google a couple weeks to react. Apr 29, 2023 at 12:25
  • Did you have your website change the error code yet? (unrelated to search console)
    – A P
    Apr 29, 2023 at 19:21

2 Answers 2

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The search console reports 404 and 410 responses under 404 as it considers them the same thing, a missing page. People have asked for them to be separated, but that has not happened yet.

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  • Thank you so much. Can you give me a link for this claim? That would help very much. Apr 30, 2023 at 7:31
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    @AtefehJahanshahi: I couldn't find where Google documents this. The closest to official recognition of the issue I could find was John Mueller (Google Search Relations) posting on twitter: twitter.com/JohnMu/status/1397460023484243971 . Mind you. I think his response was a fancy way of saying Google felt it wasn't useful enough to be a priority: "You're not the first one to ask for more detailed 404/410 information, so I wouldn't count it out forever :). It's just useful to get more insight into the value of that..."
    – Brian
    May 3, 2023 at 14:05
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This may not be applicable to you, but perhaps will be useful to someone else. Just to be thorough, since you didn't state how you applied the 410 code nor confirm that the server is sending a 410 response, that is the first thing that should be verified.

An easy way to confirm what status code is being given:

Open your browser's Developer Tools, go to the Network tab, and then go to the URL for the deleted page. You should see either 404 or 410.

You can also see the headers for any given URL at this webpage: HTTP Header Checker - Server Headers Check


I put a RewriteRule in the .htaccess file to indicate when a deleted page is 410 Gone

RewriteRule ^path/to/page.html - [G]

The G flag returns a 410 Gone status.

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  • Thank you, but this has nothing to do with my question. I'm not asking on how to return 410 neither am I asking on how to see the return code. My question is related to the Search Console. May 9, 2023 at 10:32
  • I recognized that I wasn't giving a direct answer to your question, however, I felt that my reply could be related and possibly help others looking for 410 info. You didn't include that you confirmed 410 elsewhere nor did you respond to comments asking what you did to return 410. Another answer says Search Console reports 410 as 404, so I responded with how to check which code is actually being returned.
    – Tim R
    May 10, 2023 at 0:37

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