Frequently Asked Questions

What to do with 404 Errors (Google's suggestions)

  • Eric R Reply

    Google Support Doc - https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/2409439?hl=en

    I've seen this come up a few times where we're asked what to do with 404 (not found) errors. I would highly suggest reading through Google's suggestions on how to handle those situations. If you move URLs, then it's very important to set a 301 redirect from the old to the new. That will preserve not only the link power on that page (well... about 80-90% of it), but also make for a better user experience.

    What happens if you decided to completely delete the page? Google says to tag it with at 410 (gone), to get it removed from the index. Alternatives to that (especially if you have links to that page) would probably be setting a 301 redirect to the home or another relevant page on the site. Keep in mind if you go the latter route, you may sacrifice the user experience on the site. They expected to find content they were looking for, then were sent to another page. This could create pogo-sticking (eg; bouncing) on your site.

    What do you guys think is the best method to handle known 404 errors on a website?

    06/22/15 at 10:46 AM (19090)
  • Member 21089 Reply

    Didn't know you could remove the entire page that easily. Seems as though 301 redirecting would get tedious; when I doing a search at home and that happens, then I don't trust the site because it looks funky to me.

    01/13/16 at 05:10 PM (21559)
  • Member 21001 Reply

    This was a really interesting and helpful post. Thanks for sharing!

    01/15/16 at 01:54 PM (21597)
  • Member 21089 Reply

    Yes, redirects can be an issue for users. I typically justc opt out of whatever I'm doing as a consumer when I get a 301 because I don't understand it...or didn't.

    01/20/16 at 10:10 AM (21650)