Google’s John Mueller said this morning that the Google Search team has removed a classifier it was using to determine soft 404s. As a reminder, a ton of sites were complaining about pages being deindexed and noticed a spike in soft 404s reported by Google Search Console.
This was due to a change Google made to its soft 404 classifiers. Google removed one of those classifiers this week and John Mueller said you should start to potentially see the soft 404s drop back down and those pages go back into the index in days or a week or so.
This came up in this morning’s video at the 16:30 mark where Eliot Koey said his client got deindexed and Google Search Console said it is a soft 404.
John Mueller of Google explained that Google tries to recognize soft 404s manually. But he then he said “we saw a bunch of these reports recently, in the past couple of weeks, and the team has been looking into that, and I think they turned one of classifiers off now based on some of the feedback that we got. So I would suspect that maybe this will catch up again and work out in the next couple of days and week or so.”
Hat tip to Glenn Gabe for spotting this:
Did you see soft 404s spike recently in GSC (like many have)? Via @johnmu: We saw a number of reports recently of soft 404s (false positives), so the team turned off one of the classifiers. You might see things change in the next week or so… https://t.co/OhpkEcgsGT pic.twitter.com/kSmg29335u
— Glenn Gabe (@glenngabe) July 23, 2021
Here is the video embed:
Forum discussion at Twitter.
Update: Google also confirmed the fix on Twitter later today:
they let me tweet, but i had to make it boring. i’m very sad so I’m going to break something else. https://t.co/oheb9FVQSC
— Gary 鯨理／경리 Illyes (@methode) July 23, 2021