I am handling a wordpress website for a client. It has around 4000 '404 errors'. I am thinking of redirecting it to the home page. But if I redirect, Google should not think that I am duplicating (though I am not doing). The other option is that I can request Google not to crawl the web pages that are '404 errors'. This '404 error' is due to the forum, which was linked to the website.

I request forum members valid suggestion / advice on solving this issue.

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You have two options.

Option 1: You can redirect these pages to the homepage using a 301 redirect to eliminate the duplicate content problem. However, this can potentially be confusing for the user, since they go to one particular URL where they expect to find forum thread content and instead end up at the homepage.

Option 2: Send 404 headers, so that Google is aware that the pages do not exist, and it will deindex them. You can make your 404 pages user-friendly, providing links to the homepage and main sections of the site for the users. This is the preferred method, as it's both recommended by Google and also the most user-friendly.

Instead of this, shall I handle this 404 issue through robots.txt. I could disallow all those web pages that are having 404 errors. Is it the better option - I request you to clarify.

Thanks in advance.

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