If your website is too small and you have changed your URLs, this will not be a problem. But if your website has too many pages and in the process, many of its URLs have been modified, users will not be able to access the content homepage through the search results and will encounter a 404 error. This can negatively affect the ranking of your site pages in search results.
Backlinks are a very important part of SEO and when a website links to a page of your site it increases the page rank. As a result, that page’s rank from your site will increase in search results.
Reduce website page rank by changing the URL of a website URL or deleting a page that has a lot of backlinks. This has reduced the site’s visibility in search results and, in Google’s view, reduced the site’s power.
Error 404 management and redirect links that do not exist are a simple way to prevent a drop in rankings due to broken links. Continue reading to teach you how to prevent 404 errors and eliminate their negative effects on SEO.
What is an Error 404?
Each page of the website sends an error code to the browser in case of an error in loading. Error 404 is a message that the browser was able to connect to the site server, but the server was unable to find the desired URL.
Chances are you’ve often seen this error when clicking a link from a page. For example, if a website puts a link to your site’s content on your page and you delete that page later, users will then encounter a 404 error.
Does 404 Error Have a Bad Impact on SEO?
Google has explicitly stated that the 404 pages are part of the Internet and are one of the best ways to announce to Google when clearing a URL, but in general, they are not desirable for the SEO site.
When a link drives users to a page containing a 404 error, Google detects that the page is no longer available and deletes it after some time. This will also destroy the value of that link and its backlinks.
By increasing the value of your site’s valuable pages, the page rank of the website and its domain strength are reduced, resulting in a decrease in site rankings in search results. That’s why you need to redirect such valuable pages to other existing pages.
How to Fix Error 404?
Fixing 404 error increases page rank and improves site performance. The easiest and most effective way to fix a 404 error from an SEO perspective is to use Redirect 301.
301 is an HTTP status code that alerts users as well as search engine robots that the page has been permanently moved to another URL. Unlike 404, code 301 preserves and redirects URL credentials to the new page.
When creating a 404 error, use a redirect 301 to move users to the nearest possible content page. This will also move the page rank to the new page.
For example, if you own a clothing store and have to remove one of your products in the shoe category, and if the link to that product also has a lot of backlinks from other sites, it is best to link it to the category page. Redirect your shoes to 301.
To create a redirect 301 page A to page B Insert the following code in the website’s .htaccess file:
Redirect 301 / A / B
A and B are the addresses of the respective pages.
Under what circumstances should we not use Redirect 301?
The key to using Redirect 301 is the semantic relationship between the pages. If you redirect users to a page similar to a deleted page with a 404 error, you have neither moved the page rank nor interfered with the user experience. By redirecting deleted pages to irrelevant pages, you will surely reduce the site conversion rate.
It is also advisable not to use Redirect 302 in these situations. Redirect 302 means the page is temporarily moved to a new page and PageRank does not move the previous page. Redirect 302 is only for the temporary transfer of users to correct the redirect page.
What if we have too many 404 pages?
If your site has a lot of 404 pages for any reason, redirecting them to each other is not cost-effective, as it takes a lot of time.
There are two general solutions to this situation. One is to redirect all pages with a 404 error to the homepage. The second and better option is to list the backlinks of the pages and redirect them to the most valuable ones. Lower value links can be redirected to the home page in bulk.
Create a Custom 404 Page
It is difficult to have a perfect website without any 404 errors. So you might as well find a way to optimize the 404 pages to avoid the disappointment of Internet users when faced with the following message: “ 404 Error”, “404 not found”, “ The requested URL was not found on the server. ”,“ HTTP Error 404 ”,“ Error 404: page not found
Why Customize a 404 Page?
From a disappointment of the user, you can get a positive feeling for your business and your site by personalizing your 404 pages. Many CMS (WordPress, Drupal, Prestashop …) offer this possibility of personalization. And there are lots of reasons to personalize a 404 page:
- Reassure Internet users
- Reduce bounce rate
- Increase session time and number of page views
- Optimizing your conversion rate
- Optimizing the branding of your site
What Should Be Included On a 404 Page?
To meet the needs of Internet users and facilitate their navigation, it is relevant to set up a 404 page. This page will have to take into account a better User Experience (UX). To do this, a 404 page could:
- Include a link to the Homepage
- Include a link to some popular blog posts
- Add a link to the most interesting categories or products
- View a sitemap
- Provide an internal search engine
- Add a way to report a 404 page
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