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The Web server (running the Web site) thinks that the URL requested by the client (e.g. your Web browser or our CheckUpDown robot) is no longer available from that system. This is not a 'never heard of it' response, but a 'does not live here anymore response.
The 410 error also indicates that the Web server has no forwarding address for the URL, so can provide no redirection to the new Web server. This condition should generally be considered permanent. If the Web server does not know, or has no way of knowing, whether or not the condition is permanent, the status code 404- Not Found should be used instead.
The 410 error is primarily intended to assist the task of Web maintenance by notifying the client system that the resource is intentionally unavailable and that the Web server wants remote links to the URL to be removed. Such an event is common for URLs which are effectively dead i.e. were deliberately time-limited or simply orphaned. The Web server has complete discretion as to how long it provides the 410 error before switching to another error such as 404.