Error 404

A 404 Error or Error 404 is an HTTP error code passed by a web server when a requested resource is unavailable or the server cannot find it.

Generally, it is a web page that does not exist. It is not uncommon to find a 404 error on a site and it is easily recognizable. When a 404 error stops a user’s navigation, an error message appears to inform them – often 404 File Not Found.

What are the Possible Causes of a 404 Error?

If 404 errors are not so rare in navigation, it is especially since there are many situations that lead to a 404 error message:

  • A typographical error in the user’s URL address in the browser’s address bar.
  • A link with a mistake directs users to a non-existent page.
  • Deletion of a page without setting up a 301 redirect or a 302 redirect in particular.
  • Poorly redirected pages after a site redesign.
  • A page under maintenance or temporarily unavailable.

How do I Identify a 404 Error?

Search engines are the most suitable to be able to identify a 404 error. Indeed, their role is to regularly explore your website and all of these pages as internet users could do.

The Google Search Console tool greatly simplifies the search for 404 errors. It will be able to provide you with a report with the list of responsible pages.

You can also use crawlers or crawlers that work like crawlers. Here are some SEO crawlers:

  • SeeURank
  • OnCrawl
  • Screaming Frog
  • Semrush
  • Moz
  • SEOlyze

What is the Impact of a 404 Error on SEO?

There are many myths and rumors on this point but… Google doesn’t penalize a site with too many 404 pages. However, they can prove harmful for SEO, SEO for different reasons.

  • Google indexing issue: Unsurprisingly, Google doesn’t index pages with 404 errors. It’s a potential for your site
  • Loss of link juice: Backlinks are external links that point to your website. They bring power and importance to Google. If the backlinks point to a 404 page, you lose all that precious benefit!
  • Wasted crawl budget: Google’s robots are not used to wasting their time on crawling sites. Crawl time is limited, if Googlebots spend their time on 404 pages, this time is wasted!
  • Internal mesh problem: The understanding of your website and its internal mesh by search engines is vital in SEO. 404 errors could complicate the exploration of your site and negatively impact your seo.

How do I Fix a 404 error?

Now that a list of possible 404 errors is defined, it is necessary to know how to correct these errors to improve navigation on the website concerned.

Web administrators are the only ones who can make the necessary changes to remove these browsing errors (unless the user has entered an address incorrectly obviously).

It will be enough to modify the faulty links that refer to a non-existent page or make a permanent redirect or a temporary redirect according to your needs.