404 errors are a common occurrence on websites, but what impact do they have on your website’s ranking? In this post, we’ll explore the impact of 404 errors on your website’s ranking and provide tips on how to prevent them.
What is a 404 Error?
A 404 error occurs when a user tries to access a page on your website that doesn’t exist. It can happen for various reasons, such as a page being deleted or a typo in the URL. When a 404 error occurs, the server returns a 404 status code and displays a standard error page, indicating that the page cannot be found.
The Impact of 404 Errors on Your Website’s Ranking
404 errors can have a negative impact on your website’s ranking for several reasons. Firstly, search engines like Google prioritize websites that provide a good user experience, and encountering a 404 error is not a good experience for users. If users encounter too many 404 errors on your website, they are likely to leave and find another website that provides a better user experience, which can increase your website’s bounce rate.
Secondly, search engines crawl and index websites to determine their relevance and authority for specific keywords. If search engines encounter too many 404 errors while crawling your website, they may think that your website is not being maintained properly and lower your website’s ranking.
Preventing 404 Errors
Preventing 404 errors is important to maintain your website’s ranking and provide a good user experience. Here are some tips to prevent 404 errors on your website:
- Monitor your website regularly to identify any broken links or pages that return a 404 error.
- Use a website crawler tool to identify any 404 errors on your website.
- Create a custom 404 error page that provides helpful information to users, such as a search bar or links to popular pages on your website.
- Use 301 redirects to redirect users from old URLs to new ones if you change the URL of a page.
404 errors can have a negative impact on your website’s ranking and user experience. By monitoring your website regularly and implementing preventative measures, you can reduce the number of 404 errors on your website and maintain a good user experience for your visitors. Remember, providing a good user experience is key to maintaining your website’s ranking on search engines like Google.