Updated on February 4, 2024
In Google Search Console, a 404 error occurs when a page on your website cannot be found. This error can negatively impact your website’s search engine rankings and user experience. However, you can easily fix this issue by following a few simple steps. In this article, we will guide you on how to fix 404 errors in Google Search Console and improve your website’s overall performance.
Identify 404 Errors in Google Search Console
The first step in fixing 404 errors is to identify the affected pages. To do this, log in to your Google Search Console account and navigate to the “Coverage” section. Here, you will find a list of pages that have been flagged as errors, including the 404 errors. Take note of the URLs for these pages as they will be essential in the next steps.
Redirect the Pages
Once you have identified the pages with 404 errors, the next step is to set up redirects. A redirect is a way to automatically forward users from the old URL to a new one. There are two types of redirects commonly used: 301 redirect and 302 redirect.
A 301 redirect is a permanent redirect that informs search engines that the page has moved permanently to a new URL. It is the most preferred method as it transfers most of the original page’s ranking power to the new URL. To set up a 301 redirect, you can use plugins like “Simple 301 Redirects” on WordPress, or modify the .htaccess file on your server.
A 302 redirect is a temporary redirect that tells search engines that the original page will be back soon. This type of redirect is typically used for temporary changes or maintenance. However, it is not recommended for fixing 404 errors in the long term, as it does not transfer ranking power to the new URL.
Create Custom 404 Page
In addition to setting up redirects, it is also essential to create a custom 404 page. A custom 404 page is a user-friendly page that is displayed when a visitor encounters a 404 error. It can provide helpful information, suggestions for alternate pages, or a search box to help users navigate your website effectively.
Update Internal Links
After setting up redirects and creating a custom 404 page, you should update any internal links on your website that may be pointing to the old URLs. This step ensures that all internal links take visitors to the correct, updated pages, minimizing the occurrence of 404 errors in the future.
Monitor and Fix Ongoing 404 Errors
Regular monitoring is necessary to identify and fix ongoing 404 errors. Keep an eye on the “Coverage” section in Google Search Console and address any new 404 errors promptly. This practice will help maintain the health of your website and prevent any negative impact on its search engine rankings.
Fixing 404 errors in Google Search Console is crucial for maintaining a healthy website and improving its performance. By identifying and redirecting the pages, creating custom 404 pages, updating internal links, and regularly monitoring for ongoing errors, you can ensure a positive user experience and enhance your website’s chances of ranking high in search engine results.
Who is Alizaib Hassan? Alizaib Hassan is a search engine optimization specialist. Alizaib Hassan: Automate SEO-related tasks using Python. Alizaib regularly attends webinars, conferences, and SEO-related events. He focuses on automation, data science, web development, entity-based SEO, marketing, and branding.