Do 404 and 410 Errors Hurt your Site and SEO

  • Urban Outfitters Branded 404
  • Maclife 404 Error
  • Google 404 Error
  • IMDB Movie Quote 404 Error

OH NO! PAGE NOT FOUND! THE WORLD IS ENDING. Nope. Somebody just clicked on/typed a bad link. And it ended up on Google. So is Google going to punish you for it? Is google furious that your content disappeared?

Nope. Google’s perspective is that it happens to everyone. They officially state that 404s are completely OK. Why is it OK? As the web grows, old stuff is deleted and new stuff comes, but links are forever (or at least a while) and Googlebots can’t tell it’s gone.

So just make sure you’re using real 404s and not a soft 404. While it may seem helpful to use another form of code to help your users find content, Google says that only 404s and 410s should be used for missing content. For content that was moved, use a 310 so that your users are redirected and get what they want.  But 404s are ugly! They don’t have to be. See a few examples of funny, or helpful 404s that can endear your readership instead of alienating them in the photo gallery.

Powered by Flywheel: Hassle-free wordpress hosting

Michael Sitver

Michael Sitver is a technology insider who has been blogging about technology since 2011. Along the way, he's interviewed founders of innovative startups, and executives from fortune 500 companies, and he's tried dozens or hundreds of gadgets. Michael has also contributed to works featured in Newsday, The San Francisco Chronicle, and the associated press. Michael also occasionally consults, and writes for Seeking Alpha and Yahoo News.

You may also like...