Preventing 404 Errors from Affecting the SEO of A Website
In the world of digital marketing, every action is directed towards the generation of increased traffic, better conversions and consequently better revenues. However, when visitors encounter something like “404 page error” every time they try out a certain URL, they leave the website for good and try other alternatives.
Thus broken links are bad news for all e-commerce companies having a presence on the web. They not only make a website lose dedicated customers, but they also affect the website’s relationship with the search engines or SEO. Thus incorporating a link to a broken content or WebPages which contain broken links is a strict no and should be avoided at all costs. But in order to know whether a website contains a broken link, the website owner needs to scan for broken links on a regular basis.
Repairing broken pages
The 404 error which keeps appearing when a broken link is clicked can be kept at bay and completely avoided by using any of the three processes given below:
- Updation and not removal
One of the major causes of the 404 error is the removal of WebPages. Hence the website owner should try to refresh or update content and not remove the webpage as a whole. This prevents the 404 error message from appearing when a webpage is destroyed or deleted.
This is a very intelligent process which can be used every time a website address or location gets changed or there is some change in the structure of the URL. There is something known as the 301 redirects. They can be used to redirect traffic from a defunct website to a new one with a lot of content.
- Contacting the webmaster
As some of the prominent web auditing companies like Hexometer like to inform, there is another reason for the occurrence of the 404 error. In this instance, some external websites using links to connect with another website may try to do it using an URL which is incorrect. In such cases, an update from the webmaster enables a website owner to resolve this issue.
Thus while broken pages have no direct relevance to a website’s SEO, it has a negative effect on the user experience. Since the job of the search engine is to ensure good user experience, the presence of broken links interferes with the job and should thus be completely removed.