Please Help - 503 Error Only When Proxied

I am trying to get Google to properly see a 410 code on missing/removed pages, which I have setup via htaccess rules successfully. Here is what I have tested and confirmed using https://httpstatus.io/

  • If I disable cloudflare proxy, so that I am only using their DNS (grey cloud), pages properly report a 410 status as they should

  • If I enable cloudflare and use their proxy (orange cloud), then the response code turns into 503 for some reason instead of the 410 it should show.

Thanks in advance for any insight you can provide. I really need to get this fixed to solve some Google Search Console issues. Everything that should be getting reported as 410 is showing as “soft” 404 which is not good.

Do you get a 503 on any other pages when Proxied?

Hmmm, cant believe I didn’t test a known good page. I only tested missing pages. The answer is yes, I just tested my main homepage and a few other valid ones and they all report 503. Looks like everything is reporting 503 while proxied. Hmmm…

My hosts response was:

“No we do not rate limit, Cloudflare is whitelisted in our firewalls.”

So this just got even more confusing. When I use Google Chrome Dev Tools to check the response header on a page that should have 410, the header correctly shows the 410 code. But when viewing the exact same page on https://httpstatus.io/ , then it says 503. And then finally searching that same page on Google Search Console, it says Not Found 404. Which one do I trust?

So I guess I am going to say this can be closed. I think the https://httpstatus.io/ website is reporting wrong. I am going to trust what I see in dev tools header response. And from what I read, google search console reports a 404 no matter what now since it doesnt really see any difference between 404 and 410. So perhaps all is well now. Dunno.

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