Everything You Need to Know About 404 Error Pages

Starting your own website can be fun. You can find it exciting to have a site that is dedicated to your business, or you have a blog you enjoy creating content for.

But, the hardest part is the upkeep of this website and making sure it is visible on popular search engines. After all, it is going to be no fun if you are not getting any traffic. Nobody benefits from your content, nor will you sell any products or services.

Something that many people get confused about is 404 error pages. What are they, and what should you do about them? Let’s talk about this topic and what you should do when you run your own website.

What is a 404 Error Page?

Imagine this scenario. You are browsing the internet and exploring a website. You click on a link, and suddenly, when the page loads, it shows that the page you were expecting does not exist.

Instead, you are met with a page that says, ‘oops! We can’t seem to find the page you’re looking for.’ It can also show a message that says the page does not exist and there is a 404 error.

This can be frustrating, and you can be left disappointed that you did not get the content you are looking for.

You have probably been in this situation in real life. So, you have already seen a 404 error page before. It will pop up when a link is broken or has expired.

But, if you are the owner of the website, this is not something you want to happen. It can affect the user experience and affect SEO.

Is a 404 Error Bad for SEO?

The simple answer to this question is yes; 404 errors can have a negative effect on SEO. This is why it is recommended that you always fix them.

To ensure you do this in the right way, make sure you seek expert help. This can make sure your ranking is not affected. For example, say you have a Magento website.

A Magento SEO expert can help you, and they will advise what your next steps should be. Namely, it is not always as simple as just changing the links when it comes to 404 errors.

But, what we can say is that 404 errors can affect your SEO strategy. For example, you will not rank for what that page is targeting.

This can set you back in your strategy when you realize that you are not going to appear for certain keywords or topics you are covering.

So, you clearly do not want to have too many 404 errors, or you will not be ranking highly on Google. Let’s not forget that it can also affect user experience and make them frustrated with your site. This can be to the point where they leave entirely.

How Do You Find 404 Errors?

You might be in a position now where you are worried about 404 errors. Well, if you own a website and you have many pages, you are going to come across 404 errors at some point.

But, this is not what you need to worry about. Instead, you just have to make sure that you find and identify them.

Thankfully, there are many tools you can use that will find the 404 errors for you. So, in case you thought you had to go through all of the pages manually, this is not the case. There are free tools and ones that you can pay for.

What 404 Errors Ever Be a Good Thing?

By this point, you know that you do not want to have 404 errors on your site. But, are there ever any circumstances where 404 errors can be a good thing?

Well, it can be when it comes to link building. You can find them on other websites and make them aware. This can put you on good terms with them and help with networking.

What’s more, you can suggest better resources for that site, and you can create new content for the website to use. So, it can be a good way to acquire a link.