What is a 404 error message?
A 404 or Not found error message is a HTTP response code. When you visit a website, your computer which is the client, communicates to the server using Hypertext Transfer Protocol. When the server is unable to locate or find the resource which the client asked for it returns an error 404 page not found.
You should not misinterpret 404 error for “Server Not Found error” because in that case, the connection to the server is not made. The most common occurrence of 404 error page is when a user clicks on a dead or broken link.
Whenever the destination server is unable to retrieve a requested resource, it returns an "HTTP 404 - File not found” error. The most common causes of this error are as follows:
As a webmaster, you must regularly check your website for the presence of any broken or dead links. If you do not want to incur the wrath of your visitors, you must look forward to providing them with a hassle-free user experience.
Chances are that when a user visits your website, he/she might come across 404 error pages, which may be due to broken links or the user might even enter an incorrect URL. Whatever may be the reason, you must take care to keep them grip on your site.
As most people who encounter a 404 error page tend to leave your website, increasing your overall bounce rate.
Here are some tools that can help you identify broken links on your website-
Snapshot of Xenu’s Link Sleuth Software
The occurrence of 404 errors is a normal scenario as a huge amount of data comes up every day and old data is removed and when we make mistakes while removing that data/resource we get 404 errors. Things get worse when the frequency of 404 error page increases, as it leads to a higher bounce rate because people leave when they don’t find what they’re looking for.
While Google says that the occurrence of 404 error page doesn’t affect the site directly but you must never forget the fact that Google believes in providing relevant and valuable resources to the users. Indicating the fact, that if it continually finds non-existing pages and broken links on your website, it will deduce the fact that the webmaster is not keen to provide a healthy user-experience. If you don’t want to be in trouble, follow these tips:
Google says “ Generally, 404 errors don’t impact your site’s ranking in Google, and you can safely ignore them. ” While it is difficult to handle each and every broken link on your site as well as from external sources because of the sheer amount, but you can’t even ignore the fact that too many errors will frustrate the users.
It is not a crime to have 404 error pages but if they are frequent and the volume is large, users will start to bounce back because of the poor experience, which will affect your overall rankings as Google would consider your site as a poorly managed site. Broken pages can damage your reputation.
We hope by now you have understood What is 404 Error Page (Not Found), how important is to manage it. Please share this blog with your friends, so they can also get benefited from it.
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