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404 Error: definition and influence on SEO

404 Error | 

When browsing the Internet and an error message is displayed, it means that a problem has occurred that prevents the browser or client from communicating correctly with the webserver. These types of navigation error messages show an associated code that gives clues about the cause or reason for the problem.

The 404 error, for example, is bad for SEO because it ruins the user experience that sees how they cannot access the content they were looking for, and that, probably, they will end up leaving the site in search of another alternative that does not present an error.

Table of content

What is the 404 error?

The 404 error occurs when a user clicks a link on a website and is automatically shown a screen with an error message. Despite the negative consequences for a web page, blog, or online store that one of its links leads to a 404 error page, it is a very common problem, and it is rare for the user who has not encountered it several times. same.

The 404 error can present different messages to the user:

  • Error 404.
  • 404 not found.
  • 404 page not found.
  • Ooops… Error 404.
  • HTTP 404 “Not Found”.
  • 404. That’s an error.

Why is the 404 error?

The 404 error occurs when there is a “ broken link “, that is, that is a faulty link (that has an error in the indicated URL) or that that link no longer exists (the page it points to has been removed).

How does 404 error affect SEO?

The 404 error is very negative in relation to web positioning for various reasons:

  • When Google detects many 404 errors on a page, penalizes your web positioning considering that it is not well maintained, abandoned, or offers a bad user experience.
  • Users who experience this type of link errors on a website, tend to abandon it in search of another alternative, and will hardly visit it again in the future.
  • Broken links make lose the prestige and credibility of a website.

404 error custom page

One of the solutions to minimize or cushion the negative impact of the 404 error is by customizing the error page. When this error occurs, the user is shown a personalized page, where they apologize for the problem, and alternatives are given for browsing the website itself, trying to prevent the user from leaving it.

How to fix the 404 error

It is necessary to constantly monitor a website to be able to detect any problem with the links that the 404 error is showing users. In order to solve it, different tools such as Google Search Console can be used.

This free tool from Google is one of the most interesting for solving 404 error problems since it shows a list of all detected HTTP 404 errors. Once a 404 error has been resolved, it can be marked as corrected in the Google Search Console itself to speed up the process by which Google considers it a correct link.

Some procedures to fix the 404 error are:

Check the link

Many times this error is due to an error in the link address (a letter is omitted, a character is added, or it is copied and pasted incorrectly). Checking the HTML code of the link, you can verify if the error is related to the misspelled URL, and proceed to solve it in a simple way.

web redirect

If the 404 error is shown by a broken message, it will be necessary to perform a redirection to solve it. Redirecting the broken link to a new URL will fix this error and prevent the annoying error message from being displayed to the user.

Navigation errors on a website negatively affect the user experience, so they must be solved as soon as possible. The Error 404 is related to a broken link, that has some kind of problem in its URL, or that it points to a page that no longer exists. Checking the link or redirecting to a new page, this error can be solved easily and quickly.