How Fixing ‘Page Not Found’ Errors Improve Website Performance

Table of Contents

Encountering a 404 Error is a common experience for internet users navigating websites. Despite their prevalence, many individuals may not fully grasp the significance of these errors, potentially overlooking opportunities for improvement. In this discussion, we delve into the nature of 404 errors, their triggers, and their implications for website SEO.

404 errors, also known as “Not Found” errors, occur when a web server cannot find the page that a user requested. This typically happens when the URL entered by the user doesn’t match any existing page on the website, or when the requested page has been moved or deleted. When a 404 error occurs, the server returns a response indicating that the requested page does not exist, leading to a dead end for the user. These errors can negatively impact user experience and SEO if not addressed promptly.

A 404 error acts as a virtual road sign along the internet highway, signaling that the webpage you’re seeking is either missing or inaccessible. It’s not a complete website malfunction, but rather a message from the server conveying, “Apologies, the page you’re seeking cannot be located.” When encountering “page not found” or “Error 404,” it signifies the server’s inability to find the requested content.

This occurrence stems from various factors – perhaps an incorrect web address entry, following an outdated or broken link, or the removal of the webpage altogether. It’s akin to encountering a roadblock while trying to reach a destination. For website owners, comprehending these 404 errors is vital as they offer valuable insights into user experiences. Rectifying them ensures smoother navigation for visitors and maintains the website’s integrity for search engine optimization.

What causes 404 Errors?

404 errors can be caused by various factors, including:

  1. Incorrect URL: Typing or entering a URL incorrectly in the browser’s address bar can lead to a 404 error if the requested webpage does not exist at the specified location.
  2. Broken Links: Clicking on a hyperlink that points to a webpage that has been moved, deleted, or renamed can result in a 404 error if the link is not updated or corrected.
  3. Removed Pages: If a website owner removes a webpage from their site without implementing a proper redirect or updating internal links, visitors trying to access the removed page may encounter a 404 error.
  4. Server Issues: Sometimes, server misconfigurations or maintenance activities can cause certain web pages to become temporarily unavailable, resulting in 404 errors.
  5. Expired Content: Webpages that were once accessible but are no longer maintained or relevant may be removed from a website, leading to 404 errors when users attempt to access them.

Overall, 404 errors typically occur when a requested webpage cannot be found or accessed due to various issues related to URL structure, link integrity, server configurations, or content management.

How do 404 errors impact SEO?

404 errors can have several impacts on SEO. Firstly, they affect user experience by creating a poor browsing experience for visitors. Encountering a 404 error can lead to frustration and confusion among users, potentially resulting in increased bounce rates and decreased engagement with the website. Moreover, these errors can hinder the crawling and indexing process conducted by search engine bots. When search engine crawlers encounter 404 errors, they may perceive them as dead ends and cease to crawl further, leading to incomplete indexing of the website’s pages. Additionally, 404 errors can result in the loss of link equity.

If external websites link to pages that return 404 errors, it diminishes the flow of link equity to those pages, potentially impacting their search engine rankings. Furthermore, pages that frequently return 404 errors may lose their keyword rankings over time. Search engines prioritize accessible and relevant content, so pages with consistent 404 errors may lose visibility for relevant keywords, thereby affecting the website’s overall SEO performance. Addressing and resolving 404 errors promptly is crucial for maintaining a positive user experience, preserving link equity, facilitating proper crawling and indexing, and preserving keyword rankings—all of which contribute to improved SEO performance.

How To Fix 404 Errors With Redirects And Pass On Domain Authority

To address 404 errors and retain domain authority, implementing redirects is essential. Redirects guide users and search engine bots from outdated or non-existent URLs to relevant, active pages on the website. By doing so, you ensure a seamless browsing experience for visitors while preserving the link equity associated with the original URLs.

By effectively implementing redirects to address 404 errors, you not only improve user experience but also maintain the authority of your website’s domain, ensuring that valuable link equity is passed on to active pages. This proactive approach to handling 404 errors contributes to the overall health and performance of your website in search engine results.

How fixing 40 4 Errors Improves SEO

Fixing 404 errors is critical for enhancing SEO performance by addressing issues that can hinder user experience and website authority. When users encounter 404 errors, it disrupts their browsing experience and may lead to frustration, ultimately increasing the likelihood of them leaving the site. By promptly resolving these errors and redirecting users to relevant pages, website owners can provide a seamless navigation experience, improving user satisfaction and engagement metrics.

Moreover, addressing 404 errors ensures that link equity associated with those URLs is retained and passed on to other active pages on the site, strengthening the website’s overall authority and SEO performance. Additionally, fixing 404 errors enhances crawlability by enabling search engine crawlers to access and index all of the site’s content effectively, which is crucial for improved visibility in search results. Ultimately, by regularly monitoring and addressing 404 errors, website owners can optimize their site’s performance and maximize its potential for organic search traffic.

Using 404 Errors to Build backlinks

Website developers and SEO professionals understand that 404 errors can negatively impact a website’s organic search performance. When broken links are discovered on external websites, businesses have the chance to enhance their domain authority. By proactively engaging with website owners and providing them with suitable, ready-made content, businesses can acquire valuable backlinks while assisting in the resolution of 404 errors.

The Think Big Newsletter

Your weekly dose of inspiration and insight designed to fuel growth and innovation. We cover a wide range of thought provoking topics like marketing, business, entrepreneurship, and personal growth. Subscribe for more.

More like this

The Gemini Era of Google and What It Means for Online Marketing
It appears that this year has already brought some significant growth and transformative ideas for Google,...
How long does it take to see results from SEO?
The time it takes to see results from Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) can vary widely depending on several...
Fail Faster
In the pursuit of finding the most effective outcomes, marketers embrace a culture of experimentation....
Why Is Search Engine Optimisation Important
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a fundamental component of any successful online strategy for several...

Boost your digital marketing efforts