A very common error that we encounter while browsing the internet is ‘Error 404- Page not found’. Page errors are detrimental to user experience. At the same time they can also impact negatively on the ranking of the website in the search engines.
What is the reason behind this error?
There are many reasons to why this 404 error occurs.
- Changes to the link structure in your web site or the permalink will cause this error.
- If the content to the corresponding link is removed, it can occur
- If your site is linked to a wrong or misspelled link, this error can occur.
You should avoid the occurrence of this error at any cost as it may cause you to miss out on may important links, that otherwise could have benefitted your site. This will also create a bad user experience, even if the search engines crawlers do not consider it to be an impediment. It is ultimately the users who are your potential customers, so you cannot afford to create a negative impact in their mind about your business or web site.
Finding the Errors and Fixing Them
You should take all the steps to ensure that your web site is error free. You need to deal with them to give your web site the best advantage.
There are tools for detecting the Error 404, the most reliable one in the Google Webmaster Tool. You need to create an account and login to the tool and then follow the instructions. The tool is quite elaborate and it will give you a proper idea about what the site is linked to and from.
For WordPress sites, there is the redirection plugin that you can use. It will show you the 404 error pages that you may have.
After you find the error pages there are many steps you can take to solve the problem.
- The 301 Redirect is a very effective way to resolve the 404 error. You can redirect the link to the most popular or relevant blog in your web site.
- If the error is caused by any misspelled links or links from another domain you can again use the 301 redirect or use the Google Webmaster Tool to correct it.
- If the wrong linked is not indexed to any relevant posts, you can simply let the link be as Google will de index it on its own.
- There are many tools that can be used to de-index the irrelevant links.
- There is also an option of using a custom 404 page it you want to add an extra zing to your web site. There are many ways of doing it. You can use search boxes or showcase the most relevant posts from you web site in it. Your user will get a good experience and will be happy with your company and the web site.
If you want a success in your SEO campaign, it is good idea to de index as many Error 404 pages as you can. It will streamline your efforts more.