Non-existing pages should return a 404 error for better SEO.

But any site of StackExchange network does not return 404 errors for non-existing tagged page.

Example 1: https://codegolf.stackexchange.com/questions/tagged/sdfsdfsdfsdfsd

Example 2: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/tagged/nbsdjkfsdkfksdjkfjsdfsdfsdf

I think this is a bug. Or is there a special reason to allow this (I mean not returning 404) by default?

1 Answer 1


From a functional perspective it is a search.

When you search for something you expect either search results or your search didn't return any hits. None of those cases call for a 404 page. When that happens all people will raise bugs.

See how you searched for a tag:

enter image description here

I do admit that the page could do with a message that no results match the search criteria, something like that is however present in the new navigation on Stack Overflow:

enter image description here

tl;dr; That is not as bug and certainly doesn't need to do a 404. The particular search state could use some love, maybe backport the new navigation design.

  • No need to backport anything, search already supports showing a message (Your search returned no matches.) when there are no results, it just need to be applied to tag search as well. :) Jul 4, 2017 at 11:10
  • Whoa @rene you got +208 rep. (offtopic I know) Jul 4, 2017 at 14:21
  • @PrittBalagopal That is the first thing I also notice :-D Jul 5, 2017 at 4:37

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