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What is 404 Errors? Does it affect Seo? How to Fix it

Are 404 errors bad for SEO? What exactly this 404 Error is and how to fix it?

404 Error

What is 404 Error Page 

A 404 error page is a web page that is displayed when a user tries to access a page that doesn't exist on a website. The term "404" is a code used by the HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol) protocol to indicate that the requested page could not be found on the server. A 404 error page typically contains a message indicating that the page cannot be found, along with a suggestion for the user to navigate to another page on the website.

The purpose of a 404 error page is to inform the user that the page they are trying to access does not exist and to provide them with alternative options for finding the information they are looking for. This can help prevent frustration for the user and reduce the likelihood of them leaving the website. In addition, a well-designed 404 error page can also help to maintain the credibility and professional image of a website.

In some cases, a website administrator may choose to customize the 404 error page to include branding, navigation links, or additional information to help the user find what they are looking for. However, it is important to keep the 404 error page simple and easy to understand so that the user can quickly and easily determine what to do next.

A 404 error page can have a negative impact on the SEO of a website in several ways:

  1. User experience: A 404 error page can result in a poor user experience, which can lead to a high bounce rate. If a large number of users are unable to find the information they are looking for, they may quickly leave the website, which can hurt the overall engagement and user experience.
  2. Link equity: If a page with a high number of backlinks generates a 404 error, this can result in the loss of valuable link equity, which is the value that is passed from one page to another through links. This can hurt the ranking of the affected pages and result in a decline in organic traffic.
  3. Crawling and indexing: Google and other search engines may view a 404 error page as an indication that the page no longer exists and may stop crawling and indexing it. This can result in the page being removed from the search engine's index, which can hurt the visibility and ranking of the affected pages.
  4. Duplicate content: In some cases, multiple pages on a website may generate a 404 error, which can result in the creation of duplicate content. This can confuse search engines and result in a penalty for the website.

To minimize the impact of a 404 error page on SEO, it's important to take steps to ensure that users are able to access the content they are looking for, such as redirecting broken links to relevant pages, providing clear navigation options, and monitoring the website for broken links. Additionally, it's important to use customized 404 error pages that provide a good user experience and clearly communicate that the page cannot be found. By taking these steps, you can help to ensure that your website's SEO is not negatively impacted by 404 error pages.

If you have a 404 error page on your website and you want to remove it from Google search results, you can follow these steps:

  • Fix the broken link: If the 404 page is the result of a broken link on your website, make sure to fix the link and redirect it to the correct page.
  • Use a 404 redirect: You can create a custom 404 page and redirect all requests to it using a 301 redirect. This will let Google know that the page no longer exists and it should be removed from the search results.
  • Remove the page from your sitemap: If the 404 page is listed in your sitemap, make sure to remove it to avoid having it indexed by Google.
  • Submit a removal request to Google: You can use the "Remove Outdated Content" tool in Google Search Console to submit a request for removal of the 404 page from the search results. This tool will help you remove the page from Google's index if it has been crawled and indexed.
  • Monitor your website: Regularly monitor your website for broken links and 404 pages, and fix them promptly to prevent them from appearing in Google search results.