A 404 Error is basically a missing page. If your website has a missing or broken link somewhere, this will cause a 404 error. This means that the URL link doesn’t go to anything (it’s either moved or has been deleted).
You are asking the server to retrieve a webpage that isn’t there. The server gets confused and gives you a 404 error which displays as "404 not found."
The problem is most people don't even know they have these broken links on their website so they never get fixed.
A 404 error is also known by other names such as: HTTP 404 Not Found Error, broken link, and missing page.
Why Do I Have a 404 Error?
There are a couple reasons why you might be experiencing 404 errors.
1.) The webpage or website has permanently moved
Example: Perhaps you bought a new website domain but you’re still linking to your old website
2.) The linked webpage or website no longer exists
Example: If you deleted a product but are still linking to it on your website
3.) You misspelled the URL on accident when entering in the link
How Can I Fix a 404 Error?
In order to fix a 404 error, you’ll need to replace this page with one that actually exists. This is called a redirect. A redirect will tell the server, please look at this new webpage and you’ll find something that actually exists.
By creating a redirect you can pass your existing SEO power to the new location.
Luckily for you, Get Clicked SEO finds all of your 404 errors for you. It also allows you to redirect these pages to a working URL using our amazing redirect feature.
Simply enter the URL that you want the link to go to, and we’ll take care of the rest!
Why are 404 errors bad for SEO?
Having missing pages on your site can have a negative impact on your overall SEO health.
If a website has tons of broken or missing links, this is link rot. This is not good for SEO because it tells to Google that your website is unmaintained and not updated regularly.
If a customer clicks on a link and it goes to a 404 page, your customer is going to probably leave your site and go somewhere else to find what they were looking for.
Having people click the back button on your website signals to Google that they can’t find what they are looking for on your website. Google can possibly lower your rank for that search query because Google will ding you an inappropriate source of information.
Lastly, you're losing out on the traffic from that link! If another website is trying to link to your site, and that webpage link is broken, you just lost a potential customer.
Will Fixing My 404 Errors Improve my SEO?
Yes, fixing 404 errors is can help to increase your SEO.
Having working links is good for both your customers and search engines.
By fixing your broken or missing links, this will make your website perform better and allow your customers to find what they are looking for.
This shows Google that you do indeed have the information people are searching for and that your website is well maintained.
If customers stay longer on your website, this shows search engines that they found the information they were seeking, and Google can choose to bump up your ranking.
Congrats! You now should have a basic understanding of how 404 pages work and how you can fix a 404 error.