You may very well be familiar with the 404 page error. However, you may not be aware of how 404s can limit your webpage indexing. Understanding the importance of having 301 redirects is essential to maintaining consistent SEO. If that sounds a little confusing, don’t fret; we are about to explain.
What Is a 404 Page?
To understand how 404s can limit webpage indexing, we need to know what a 404 error is. A 404 page error occurs when a URL doesn’t lead to an existing webpage. Perhaps the URL for the business website has changed, but the old URL is still linked on other websites. Perhaps there has been an error and the URL never linked to an existing page in the first place.
Either way, when a user clicks on one of these links, the message “404 Error: Page Not Found” will display. This leads most users to back out and choose another website for their needs. So already a 404 page can cost you traffic. We consider it an on page SEO error, because the website owner has the ability to fix it. The remedy is actually very simple. If you set up a 301 redirect, any visitor on the “missing” page (including bots) will link directly to your desired page. This way, no one has to halt their search and back out of your website.
This may seem innocuous, but a lack of a 301 redirect can be more damaging than you might think.
How 404s Can Limit Webpage Indexing
Strong SEO is founded upon a network of links and keywords. This means that some SEO mistakes can have cascading, domino-esque effects on your website’s ranking. 404s are a perfect example of this domino effect. When a Google bot is crawling through your website, if it hits a 404 page with no 301 redirect, it will assume the page doesn’t exist.
This means that any internal linking or keywords research you did for that page will be gone. If your page linked to other credible sources, it’ll disappear. If you linked back to your own site, it’ll disappear. More significantly, if this page was the only pathway to a broader network of links and keywords, it’ll all disappear in the eyes of Google. If the page is deindexed, even if you fix it, Google may take a long time to notice.
Prevent Such Mistakes at Dreamscape
Understanding how 404s can limit webpage indexing is critical to building your web presence. At Dreamscape Marketing, we offer full SEO campaigns, Google management, and content marketing to ensure that your network is airtight and optimized for conversion. If you’re ready to level up your digital presence, contact us today at 8883077304.