Do search engines remove pages from the index for any 400 range status code return?

We are using 400 range HTTP codes to differentiate messaging for different categories of pages when a particular type of content is not found. There are some concerns that this content will not be removed from the search engine indexes as they would be if a proper 404 response is returned.

Has anyone used this method before to return customized error messages that can validate that these other codes are indeed removed from search engine indexes?

1 Answer 1


As far as I know: yes. I have some links to my site that generate a 400 status code, and they are not indexed in Google at all.

However as I mentioned in the other question, it's better to stick to defined status codes where possible, like 404 and 410 for missing pages.

  • 1
    +1 for 'defined status codes'. Please, don't make up your own and use the defined ones in the manner intended.
    – Kris
    Commented Oct 20, 2010 at 11:01
  • Hi, Can you provide those links to generate the 400 status code.I need to stimulate the scenario for my testing. Thanks & Regards, Vishnu.
    – user6307
    Commented Mar 24, 2011 at 1:31

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