Don’t you just love it when you click on a link after reading something that has really interested you? You’re either eager to read more or you have your bank card in your hand ready to make a purchase and then you get the beloved Error 404: Page Not Found.
We’ve all been there and it is frustrating – but what does this actually mean?
An Error 404 means that the url you are visiting no longer exists. Whilst it can be found if the link you are following has a typo, it is most commonly found when the page has been relocated or removed.
The purpose of an error 404, is in essence there for search engines – so that they know the page no longer exists and they need to stop sending visitors to that specific page.
Why Error 404 Is Good
Search engines are always scanning websites all over the internet because they want to find the best content for their users search terms.
When you’re working on SEO, there may be instances where it is more beneficial to relocate (change the url) of a webpage. If the webpage that’s being relocated doesn’t have a redirect link (sending the original URL directly to the new one), if the page is already ranking for search terms then it is likely that people will try to load the page. We don’t want users trying to load a page that doesn’t exist, because we all know that it leads to a poor user experience – and ultimately they leave the website.
Having an Error 404 link means that when a search engine scans your website, it will recognise that the link no longer exists and will stop ranking that page.
How To Avoid Error 404
I dislike the word avoid. By all means, you want to make sure that nobody ever lands on the 404 page, but you should always make sure that the error 404 page is present and correctly configured on your website.
Want to checkout my 404 page? Go to https://jkcomputing.co.uk/whateveryoutypeheredoesnotexist