At a certain moment there was a discussion about the set-up of the Web: should it have a central check and central localisation of web pages to prevent miss-hits?
Sir Tim Berners Lee, father of the Web, decided: no.
Essence of the web is free/open character. Anyone with a computer can put stuff on the Web.
The result was: on one hand the 404 error, but at the same time the tremendous increase of the Web.
I dare say this may have been the most important decision of the Web: by removing the central check and allowing a small amount of error, an enormous speed and volume increase was enabled.