While it is correct to use a 404 response code to indicate that something that once existed is no longer found, this may cause some confusion for folks visiting a Self-Evaluation results post in a per-site meta.

From An example Site-Self Evaluation with a broken link in the meta question:

The Site Self-Evaluation review queue is open and populated with 10 questions that were asked and answered in the last quarter. Run a few Google searches to see how easy they are to find and compare the answers we have with the information available on other sites.

At the end of the evaluation, some communities go through the results and fix any problems they see with the posts, based on discussion and feedback. The discussion and feedback oftentimes bumps the self-valuation post to the top of the meta active page. Something feels a little off about leaving broken links in the Site Evaluation Review Queue question, posted by the Community bot.

Thus, here are a few possible solutions to alleviate this potential problem:

  1. The Community bot should edit the question and remove the link to the self-evaluation review queue, once the review period is over.

  2. OR instead, replace the 404 page with something that explains and educates users on the purpose of the self-evaluation. I've seen users go through the review queue like it's a close vote queue or first posts queue instead of taking the time to look at the posts from the perspective of someone coming from Google. Thus, having more persistent information about the purpose of this type of review may help ensure future reviews are treated appropriately. If there is content in the help center about self-evaluations, that would be an appropriate place to link to.

Here is an example of a 404 response to the Self-Evaluation Review Queue: https://freelancing.stackexchange.com/review/site-eval

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    +1 A "self-evaluation is now over" makes more sense than a 404. Commented Nov 3, 2013 at 23:46

1 Answer 1


Since the criteria used for evaluation is not available otherwise and since it can be helpful to understand what it was, I'd like to see the queue replaced with a page that read:

The self-evaluation is now over. Below are the criteria used for review:

Run comparative Google searches on these questions and see if the content is better or worse than what is already out there on the internet. Are the answers correct, clear, useful and informative? Would the question and answer be interesting to the kind of user this site is trying to attract? Choose:

  • Excellent if this question is well-written and has a clear, comprehensive answer that is far better than other available resources. This question shows up early in search results.
  • Satisfactory if this question has a clear, comprehensive answer that is comparable or better than the information found elsewhere. This question shows up later in the search results or requires oddly specific search terms to find.
  • Needs Improvement if this question is poorly written, not generally useful, or has an answer that is no better than what can be found elsewhere. Alternatively, this question does not turn up on the first page or two in Google despite repeated search attempts.
  • Skip if you are not sure and want to go to the next question

Discuss these questions here and share your thoughts and comments with others!

About this queue: This review queue appears periodically on sites to evaluate the overall quality of the Q&A. After a few days, this queue will disappear until it is time for the next quality review.

Update 1/30/14: This is now live. Links to self-eval queues will show the above message instead of a 404 if the review is not currently active.

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