410 Error

A 410 error (also known as “Gone”) is an HTTP status code that indicates that the resource requested by the visitor is no longer available at the server and that this condition is likely to be permanent.

Impact on SEO:

From an SEO perspective, a 410 Error is a useful tool for webmasters and SEO professionals because it more clearly communicates to search engines that a page has been permanently removed and should be deindexed. This can aid in the crawl efficiency of a website, as search engines will not waste resources attempting to index a page that no longer exists. Additionally, it can help prevent the dilution of a site’s search relevance by removing outdated or irrelevant pages that no longer contribute to the site’s overall content strategy.

Unlike a 404 Not Found error where the absence of the resource may be temporary or the resource may still be available elsewhere, a 410 Error signifies a deliberate and permanent removal. This message is usually returned by the server when a web page or resource has been intentionally removed and the server has been instructed by the webmaster to let the client (browser) know of this status.

Best practices:

When removing content that will never be replaced, it is recommended to serve a 410 status code instead of a 404 status code. Here are some best practices for using a 410 status code:

  • Use 410 instead of 404 to facilitate faster deindexing of URLs that have been permanently removed.
  • Update internal links and sitemaps to remove references to the URLs that return a 410 status to avoid unnecessary crawl errors.
  • Implement 301 redirects for URLs that have been permanently removed but have a clear, relevant alternative page on the site to maintain link equity and provide a better user experience.
  • Monitor your website’s crawl errors in webmaster tools such as Google Search Console to ensure that search engines are correctly interpreting the 410 status codes.

Keep in mind that excessive 410 errors can be an indication of poor site maintenance if URLs are frequently being retired. It’s important to have a coherent content management plan to ensure that content removal is strategic and not negatively impacting the user experience.


How can a 410 Error impact SEO performance?

A 410 Error can impact SEO performance positively by communicating to search engines that a page has been permanently removed and should be deindexed. This can aid in improving crawl efficiency, preventing content dilution, and maintaining a more organized website structure. Properly handling 410 Errors can contribute to better search engine visibility.

What are the best practices for dealing with 410 Errors?

When dealing with 410 Errors, it is recommended to use this status code for URLs that have been permanently removed and will not be replaced. Updating internal links, implementing 301 redirects when necessary, monitoring crawl errors, and having a clear content management plan are crucial best practices to follow when managing 410 Errors for optimal SEO performance.

What is the difference between a 410 Error and a 404 Error?

While both a 410 Error and a 404 Error indicate that a resource is not found, the key difference lies in the permanency of the situation. A 404 Error indicates that the resource is not found at that moment, but it could potentially be found in the future or may exist at a different location. On the other hand, a 410 Error signifies that the resource has been deliberately and permanently removed.

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