What is a 404 not found error?
In this article, you will learn what the HTTP404 Not Found Error or page not found, how you can fix it, and why you should fix it immediately because it affects how Google is ranking your website.
What many people and website owners do not know is that having these 404 errors or pages not found affects very negatively their SEO score and website rankings on Google – especially if they’re not being rectified in time.
WHAT IS THE HTTP 404 ERROR?
The HTTP 404 Not Found Error means that the web page you were trying to reach could not be found on the server. It is a Client-side Error which means that either the page has been deleted or moved and the URL was not changed accordingly, or that you miss-typed the URL. Other types of client-side errors include the 403 Error which is the “access is forbidden” page you see when you try to access a website. We’ve other articles about that so do check that out how to fix the 403 error if you’re facing this issue.
The 4 indicates a client error. The server is saying that you’ve done something wrong or perhaps misspelled the URL or requested a page which is no doesn’t exist. Conversely, whereas the 5xx error indicates a server-side problem. It also indicates an error that may be transient; if you try it again, it may work.
The 0 in the middle indicates a general syntax error. Which could be a spelling error.
The last 4 just indicate the specific error in the group of 4xx, which also includes 400: Bad Request, 401: Unauthorized. You’ll typically see a list of these errors in your Google Search Console platform where you can rectify these errors accordingly.
Back to the 404 Not Found HTTP Status Code, the website hosting server will typically generate a “404 Not Found” web page when a user attempts to follow a broken or dead link; hence the 404 error is one of the most recognizable errors encountered on the World Wide Web. The typical trigger for an error 404 message is when website content has been deleted or moved to another URL.
OTHER CAUSES OF 404 NOT FOUND HTTP ERROR
a) Deleted or moved URL or content (such as files or images without updating any internal links accordingly).
b) The URL was written incorrectly (during the creation process or a redesign), linked incorrectly, or typed into the browser incorrectly.
c)The server responsible for the website is not running or the connection is broken
d) The requested domain name can’t be converted to an IP by the domain name system (DNS)
e) The entered domain name doesn’t exist (anymore).
f) Dead links are often left for long periods of time since operators have no idea that the linked content has been deleted or moved. Many websites still appear in the search engine results pages (SERPs) even though they aren’t available online anymore (or at least not at the specified URL).
g) Other linked websites such as blogs, etc. may not be informed that the site has been removed or the content URL has changed.
h) Many website operators don’t check their external links regularly and therefore a functioning link could easily become a dead one. This is crucial and having these 404 errors on your website will lead to the decline of your website’s SEO score.
This is why you need to focus on removing these pages as quickly as possible. Another reason why a 404 error is rarely a reason to celebrate is that it leads to poor user experience. At the end of the day, the website’s visitors have not found the content that they were looking for and will navigate away from your website. This shows up as a high bounce rate which is measured as the percentage of visitors to a particular website who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page.
Having a high bounce rate tells Google that your website is boring and off-putting, which affects your ranking on Google and search engines. Another metric that’s affected is the “duration spent on page” which will decrease overall and also affect your website’s SEO score and page rankings.
HOW TO FIX PAGE NOT FOUND
#1 – RELOAD THE PAGE
Most of the time, the 404 error appears because the page did not load properly due to slow connection speeds, or maybe the page has huge elements such as unoptimized images or clunky HTML code. This can be rectified quite easily by clicking on the ‘Refresh’ button or also by pressing the F5 button.
#2 – CHECK THAT YOU HAVE THE CORRECT URL
Regardless of whether you have entered the URL address manually or been directed by a link, a typo error could be the culprit here. This is the reason why you ought to clean your URL structure and make it as SEO-friendly as possible. Check out the description for a complete list of solutions to double and even 3x your website’s traffic with our SEO Masterclass. The link is in the description below! Stay away from unreadable words, incomprehensible abbreviations, letters, numbers, and symbols.
#3 – DELETE THE BROWSER CACHE AND COOKIES
If you can access the website from another device, and the HTTP 404 error only seems to appear on a certain computer, then the problem could lie with your browser. Therefore you should delete the browser cache as well as all cookies for this site, and this may then finally allow you to access the page.
#4 – CONTACT THE WEBSITE
If none of the above-mentioned solutions have been successful then the only remaining option may be to get in touch with the people responsible for the website. Contact information can usually be found in the website’s navigation bar or the ‘Contact Us page. If it is your own website, then find the specific page in the backend of your content management system and see if you’ve input the correct link in your browser.
It’s very easy to find the page you’re looking at with some keywords. We recommend that you download a WordPress plugin that helps you to check for broken links on your website. This plugin will send you notifications from time to time on any broken pages or links which lead to a 404 error.
We hope you found this article useful, If you’d like more tutorial articles, tips, and tricks of SEO, we do have a lot of other articles on our website so check that out as well. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTTP_404