I have updated a shop system to a newer version. I now get huge number of soft 404 errors in the Webmaster Tools because of links that have been indexed in the old version of that shop.

I could lock Google out from these links by adding some entries to the robots.txt. In this case will the already indexed links be removed from that soft 404 list or will they stay on that list forever because the status of the entries cannot be verified by Google?

  • We get these questions a lot! The best advice is not to worry about 404 errors for pages that do not exist. Do not mark these as Fixed. Just let Google do it's thing. It will figure out what it needs to. These notices are just that - notices - just in case there is a condition where these page should exist. This is not the case in your scenario. Leave it alone and go make a sandwich. Cheers!!
    – closetnoc
    Sep 29 '16 at 16:06

I wouldn't worry too much because 404 errors are not penalized. It basically represents files that have been temporarily hidden. If removed, it will clear itself from the search. I usually suggest not blocking Google for any reasons.

As you will see Google recommends 404 pages and noindex tag opposed to blocks.

Make removal permanent'

The Remove URLs tool is only a temporary removal. To remove content or a URL from Google search permanently you must take one or more of the following additional actions:

  • Remove or update the actual content from your site (images, pages, directories) and make sure that your web server returns either a 404 (Not Found) or 410 (Gone) HTTP status code. Non-HTML files (like PDFs) should be completely removed from your server. (Learn more about HTTP status codes)
  • Block access to the content, for example by requiring a password.
  • Indicate that the page should not to be indexed using the noindex meta tag. This is less secure than the other methods.

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