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11 tips for creating useful 404 error pages - TutnIQ
Table of contents X
  • Getting technical: Strategies to reduce uncessary 404 errors

    In this section we will consider different ways to reduce unnecessary 404 errors.

  • Tips

    1. Log all site errors, if this is not possible, consider providing a way for users to report a broken link or other site error. Review the error log regularly.

    2. Check your site's crawl stats, logs and analytics:

    • If you have 404's on internal links as a result of typos (example: www.example.com/t-shirt instead of www.example.com/tshirt), fix the links.

    • If you have 404's on incoming links as a result of typos consider capturing this lost traffic by using a permanent redirect (code 301) to automatically send the user to the correct page.

    • If you have 404's on incoming links as a result of changes to your site structure use a permanent redirect (code 301) to automatically send the user to the correct page.

    • If you have many visitors, or links from a valuable source, to a deleted page consider recreating the page.

    • Do not redirect 404's to your homepage, unless you are confident that users were actually intending to visit your homepage (example: you might redirect www.example.com/index.html to www.example.com).

    • Check sitemap and search scripts to make sure that they are not generating incorrect links.

    Useful resources:

    The following links provide further detail on how to deal with 404 error pages from a search engine perspective.

  • Online resources:
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