You’re probably asking “What is a 404 Page?” A 404 is a HTTP status code that is returned when the Google bots attempt to visit a page that doesn’t exist — either because it’s been deleted or renamed.
Without redirecting the old URL to a new page, using what is called a 301, will result in the 404 error. In this post we wanted to address does your site have a 404 page, and why you should consider getting one.
It Tells Visitors Where They Are
It is strange experience when you land on a webpage that is not where you expected. Make sure your users know they are not on the right page, but they are on the right website.
It Doesn’t Confuse Search
It’s better to land somewhere than nowhere. When the bots crawl a site and can’t find the page, the error still returns. However, search engines are more concerned about users than whether the bots have a hard time finding a page.
It’s Good For SEO
I know some folks will cry, “NOOOOO! You can’t believe that!?” But yes, yes I do and here’s why. Image you are really into this site and looking at pictures of kitties. All of the sudden boom, no more kitties and you see this:
There’s no links, navigation or search bar to find the kitties. So, they leave in search for kitties on another website.
In all the arguments about passing link juice or whatever to another site, or giving it away, it’s about users and them finding what they need. A 404 page allows a last chance effort to save that visit and allow them to find what they were looking for in case of a typo or other bad choice.
Stay with us in the future as we will be diving into SEO more in the coming months about Google’s new SEO quality guides.
Like this article? Then like and share it. If you have reason for having a 404 page that we missed let us know in the comments below.