404 Error: How to fix 404 Error Page Not Found in Google Search Console

404 Error: How to fix 404 Error Page Not Found in Google Search Console

What is 404 Error?

A 404 error is a common HTTP status code that indicates that the requested page could not be found on the server. This means that the server was able to communicate with the browser, but it was unable to locate the specific page being requested. There are many possible reasons for a 404 error, such as:

  • The page has been moved or deleted.
  • The URL is incorrect.
  • There is a problem with the website’s configuration.
  • The server is overloaded or experiencing technical difficulties.


Common Appearances of the 404 Error

If you encounter a 404 error while browsing, it might appear in various ways, including:

  • 404 Error
  • 404 Not Found
  • Error 404
  • The requested URL [URL] was not found on this server
  • HTTP 404
  • Error 404 Not Found
  • 404 File or Directory Not Found
  • HTTP 404 Not Found
  • 404 Page Not Found
  • Error 404: The page you’re looking for can’t be found.
404 error page not found

Why are 404s Bad for Your Website?

404 errors can negatively impact your website’s SEO by signaling to search engines that your site contains broken links and may not be properly maintained. This can lead to lower search engine rankings, making it more difficult for users experience to find your website organically.

Common Causes of 404 Errors:

To fix these issues, it’s vital to identify their root causes. 

Here are some common culprits: 

  • Broken Links:

Broken links within your website or from external sources can lead to 404 errors. Regularly check and update links to prevent this issue. 

  • Deleted Pages:

 If you remove a page from your website but don’t redirect the URL, visitors will encounter a 404 error (another type of 404 error is called Soft 404) when trying to access it. 

  • URL Changes: 

Alterations in your URL structure can cause 404 errors. Ensure that any changes are properly redirected.

How to Fix 404 Error Page Issue in GSC

Now that you have a better understanding of the problem, let’s explore effective solutions to fix 404 Page Issues in Google Search Console.

1. Regularly Monitor GSC

The first step in addressing 404 errors is to stay vigilant. Regularly check Google Search Console to identify any issues promptly.

2. Redirect 404 Pages

Whenever you remove a page, ensure that you set up 301 redirects to guide users to relevant content.

3. Update Internal Links

Review and update internal links on your website to eliminate broken connections.

4. Custom 404 Page

Create a user-friendly custom 404 error page that helps visitors find what they’re looking for and encourages them to explore your site further.

5. Review External Backlinks

Examine external sources linking to your website. Contact webmasters to correct broken links.

6. Use 410 Status Codes

Consider using a 410 status code for pages you don’t intend to bring back. This informs search engines that the page is gone for good.

FAQs

Q: What’s the impact of 404 errors on SEO?

404 errors can harm your website’s SEO as they indicate poor user experience and can negatively affect search engine rankings.

Q: How can I check for 404 errors in GSC?

Login to GSC, select your property, and navigate to ‘Coverage.’ Here, you’ll find a detailed report of errors, including 404 issues.

Q: Are there tools to automate 404 error checks?

Yes, there are various online tools and plugins that can regularly scan your website for broken links and 404 errors.

Q: Can 404 errors affect user trust?

Yes, encountering 404 errors can erode user trust. Visitors may perceive your website as unreliable or outdated.

Q: What’s the difference between 301 and 302 redirects?

A 301 redirect is a permanent redirect, while a 302 redirect is temporary. Use 301 redirects for pages you don’t intend to bring back.

Q: How long does it take for Google to recognize a redirect?

Google typically takes a few days to a week to process redirects, so be patient.

Conclusion

Fixing 404 Page Issues in Google Search Console is essential for maintaining a user-friendly and SEO-optimized website. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can address these issues effectively, improve user experience, and boost your website’s overall performance.

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