How to Deal with 404 Error Pages – Search Engine Optimization
“Error 404 – Page Not Found” – This is one of the most common server errors we see on Internet while accessing the web application. Everyone knows that error pages, 404 Error spoil the user’s experience in the term of SEO, but how do they impact search engines optimization ? is 404 pages bad for SEO and Google Indexing and Crawling? Do search engines may penalize your domain with too many 404 pages?.
In this article, I will explain about 404 error pages from the perspective of both users as well as search engines and will recommend some of the best tips that follow to improve their 404 error pages in your website or blog.
Why 404 Error on the website ?
- The page already been deleted or does not exist in your web application.
- You have to change the permalink (slug) of your site structure.
- You have removed the content or pages from the site.
- Miss spelled in Permalink that may cause 404 Error.
How To Find 404 pages and fixed them for SEO
- Go to google webmaster tool Webmasters.
- Click on dashboard > Crawl errors > Not found
- Click on link to identify that page are not existing on your website but they are crawl
- You may also use free broken link check website tool that will also help to find 404 pages
- You can check broken link (404) page from online website tool from here http://www.brokenlinkcheck.com
How to fix 404 Error (broken links )
- 301 Redirection the link to the most relevant post/article or category. If there is no relevant article or category, follow the next step.
- If the error is coming due to a misspelled from another domain, you can communicate with the webmaster to update the link, or you can use the 301 redirection from that link.
- If there is no relevant article is on your webpage, simply leave it for Google. Google will automatically de-index such pages eventually after a specific time.
- You can also manually de-index that pages from the web index using the webmaster removal tool. whenever, if you have the number of such pages, it will be quite a task for you. So I would suggest either the previous suggestion or the following one.
- Use a custom 404 page to the user experience. You can add a search box, show articles relevant to the user’s search query result.
Notes: If you are blogging through WordPress CMS and have 1000 of 404 pages on your website then I recommend the following plugin to your home page either on relevant pages which exist on your website.
Recommended Plugin ( all 404 page to Home Page: All 404 Redirect to Homepage
Recommended Plugin ( 301 redirects): https://wordpress.org/plugins/simple-301-redirects/