In SEO, a 404 error and a 410 error are two different HTTP status codes that indicate different scenarios:
- 404 Error: A 404 error (Not Found) is returned when a webpage no longer exists or the URL is not valid. It indicates that the requested resource is not available on the server. This can occur due to various reasons such as a page being deleted or moved without proper redirection, a mistyped URL, or a broken internal/external link. From an SEO perspective, encountering a 404 error is not ideal as it can negatively impact user experience and search engine rankings.
- 410 Error: A 410 error (Gone) is similar to a 404 error in the sense that it indicates a webpage is no longer available. However, a 410 error is more explicit in stating that the page has been intentionally and permanently removed with no intention of return. This status code implies that the webpage has been deliberately taken down and should not be expected to return in the future. From an SEO standpoint, serving a 410 error is considered more informative as it helps search engines understand that the page is gone forever, and they can stop crawling/indexing it.
In summary, a 404 error signifies a general page not found situation, while a 410 error specifically indicates that the page has been permanently removed. It is generally recommended to redirect or update URLs to avoid encountering these errors and provide a better user experience.