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  1. phpBB3
  2. PHPBB3-15175

avoid "soft 404" errors if user deleted or topic moved to restricted section of the board

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      Description

      The software doesn't seem to provide a good solution to resolve soft 404 errors for search engines.

      Google Webmaster tools finds "soft 404 errors" which it considers 'problematic':
      https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/181708?hl=en

      When a page doesn't exist 'for the world out there' (particularly a bot), it should return a 404 error!
      However, in phpBB, the software doesn't. If a user has been deleted or if a thread has been moved to a section of the board that hides it from the outside world, it returns a code 200 "ok" and redirects the bot to another page, but doesn't display actual content which is interpreted as a structural problem of the whole website.

      It think this should be fixed - VBulletin, which once also had this problem as my web search turned out - did that already. phpBB could actually redirect the user to some other page but should definitely return

      {{header("HTTP/1.0 404 Not Found");
      }}
      to bots.

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            • Assignee:
              Unassigned
              Reporter:
              richey richey
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                Updated: