XF 1.5 Tags and Google analytics giving soft 404

Robf23

Member
I'm getting lots of soft 404's in my google search console. All the URLs are /tags/ urls which as a member I can see. However google's bots can't and see a soft 404. (I can see this in the google fetch and preview).

Can anyone advise on how to prevent this? I have the default xenforo robots.txt which doesn't disallow the /tags/

thanks in advance
 

snoopy5

Well-known member
Same problem here.

I have got an email from google:
New Index coverage issue detected for site ww.mysitedomain.com

To owner of site ww.mysitedomain.com,
Search Console has identified that your site is affected by 1 new Index coverage related issue. This means that Index coverage may be negatively affected in Google Search results. We encourage you to fix this issue.

New issue found:
Submitted URL seems to be a Soft 404
In Google search I can see this

google_search_error_tags.jpg

Any idea what the problem is?
 

Robf23

Member
I believe it's tags on images. By default these are blocked from guests on my site so google cannot see them. There's no way around it unfortunately if you want guests not to see your images.
 

Live Free

Active member
I'm also experiencing this issue, did you guys ever find a fix?

In my case these are tags applied to threads in user-only forums. Examining Search Console says the page is listed in the sitemap, but here it seems content hidden from guests shouldn't appear in the sitemap. @Chris D would you mind weighing in?

In Search Console these changes appeared suddenly, I got 1500+ soft 404s for tag pages overnight in the situation I described above.
 

Chris D

XenForo developer
Staff member
If the tags related to the soft 404 do not have any visible results to guests then this is basically expected.

A soft 404 just indicates a page like this which doesn’t return any results, but doesn’t return a 404 code.

Returning a 404 code is not appropriate if the tag does actually exist in the database.

Overall, the soft 404s are basically informational and nothing to worry about.
 

Live Free

Active member
The increase in corresponde to an increase in logged unindexed content, including valid public viewable threads, which is my concern.

Was their a console update around the end of July/beginning of August that would explain why these errors showed then, and not before?

Is it possible to hide Member only Tags from the Tag Page /Tag cloud / public with conditional statements?
 
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