When we are surfing over the internet, most of the time we have seen “Error 404- Page not found” which impacts bad as these pages offers bad users experience. However, in this blog we have to see how ‘404 error’ is a bad practice in the SEO process and how to overcome this problem.
Most of the common reasons associated with the 404 error pages are-
- The main reason is when you change your permalink structure of your website while changing designing.
- Another reason is when you changed or removed the contents from the website.
- Somebody link your website with miss spelled or wrong link, which arises the 404 error.
Whenever a user or search engine bot requests to get access to a page on the server then generally web server responses with HTTP status code of 404 to specify that page does not exist on the server. But when it comes to any user, it really gives a bad user experience that’s the reason users skip that page and go back and follow another link. It is a bad practice for SEO as does not meet the appropriate visits to increase the traffic.
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Although, you can resolve the 404 error by following some simple steps that can fix the broken links from your website.
The first thing you have to do is identify the 404 error pages on your website, and then start with the Google webmaster tool. Just Login to your webmaster tools as Dashboard> Crawl Errors> Not found> and after that you can click on any of the link which are resulted on the page and see linked from to get an idea where these pages are linked from. If you are using the WordPress Dashboard then you can easily monitor and redirect 404 pages through redirection plugin. Further, once you have listed all the pages for your domain, here are some few steps to fix the trouble-
- Use 301 redirection links to most related article or categories, if any relevant category is not found then follow the next step.
- If error is coming from the miss-spelled link from other domain, you can take the help of webmaster to update the link or either ask 301 redirection is sufficient or not.
- If no article is found relevant to 404 link on your website then simply leave it as a 404 as Google will automatically de-index such pages.
- You can manually de-index the web pages from your website through webmaster removal tool, but if you have plenty of pages then it will become the tedious task for you.
- Use a custom 404 page to index your page or you can add search box that show articles relevant to search query.
Don’t be panic with ‘404 error’ as they are not the opponent of SEO but it’s not a good to put into practice on your website. The most eminent thing to always keep in minds that if you have the portal of numerous of web pages than you wouldn’t like search engine bots to waste limited crawling resources on such kind of pages. It is better to redirect whenever possible or block the bots from accessing it via robot.txt, and remove it from the Google webmaster tool.