404 soft error?

I noticed a drop in visitors to my site. A google webmaster I found 404 soft errors. What is the difference between 404 and 404 soft? Is that its errors affect the ranking of my site?

This page gives a good explanation of Soft 404s
http://www.submitawebsite.com/blog/2010/06/soft-404.html

Basically a Soft 404 is when someone goes to a page on your site that does not exist and instead of being shown the 404 page, they are sent to another page that does exist like a homepage.

Soft 404s can be a sign of underlying problems with your site setup, so it is good to correct them.

Server sends 404 error response when the requested url is not found. In case of soft 404 it sens 200 OK response code by returning a standard webpage or an error page. Soft 404 confuse the search engine and user who looking for that particular (non-exist) url.

This is why you’ll sometimes see hits on completely random filenames in your logs – that’s often search engine robots checking out whether the server is giving a 404 (correct) or a 200 (incorrect) when asked for a non-existent page.

Usually, when someone requests a page that doesn’t exist, a server will return 404 error.

This may be a standard “File Not Found” message

404 Soft - Basically it indicates a missing page that is getting referenced (via an internal or external link) and followed by the search engine spider.

Big difference slight change :slight_smile:

Thank you for your answers:) The problem is that the links provided as 404 soft errors in google webmaster are not dead links. That links are valid. Someone explain:(

Can you share one of those links with us?