Page not found - learn how to find and fix 404 errors


Artem Daniliants

3 min read

It is almost certain that at some point you have noticed a “Error 404 Not Found” message when browsing the internet. This article helps you to understand what 404 error is in addition to how to find and fix them.

Simply put, receiving a 404 error message refers to a situation where a piece of content has been removed from the web page or the content has been transferred to another URL address. Usually 404 errors occur either in situations where an old and unused URL address appears in Google results or in cases where the URL address sends the user to another website.

Why should you care about 404 errors?

Not only 404 errors may damage the visibility of the website on search engines but also users may have an inferior user experience. When a user is searching for information and follows a link from a Google search result, it is likely that that individual will click back to search results after facing a 404 error code.

Furthermore, efforts put into search engine optimization are all gone in case the 404 error page refers to links from other websites.

How to detect a 404 error?

In order to look for 404 errors, turn to Google Search Console . Log in to Search Console and check the coverage report.

Coverage report in Search Console

SEO tools such as Ahrefs or SEMrush may also assist in mapping any 404 errors in addition to Google Search Console. A good SEO tool is a necessity when it comes to mapping any broken links - that is, links that direct users to a 404 error page.

Fix 404 errors

Especially when talking about eCommerce, 404 error pages may be a common issue due to the sheer number of products available. Therefore, fixing each and every error is not the most time-efficient approach to tackle the issue with.

But when does it make sense to fix the errors? Fixing the links is crucial when the error leads to external links that bring true value in the light of SEO. In such situations fixing error 404 messages means creating a 301 redirection from the URL address delivering 404 messages to a piece of content relevant to the case. This could be anything from a similar item to a category or blog post.

A 404 error page customized for your needs

Customized 404 error pages are a crucial tool for all eCommerce and other dynamic websites to have. This is because there is value in diminishing the possibility of a user jumping straight back to Google search results after seeing the error page. At its best, a quick-witted and highly customized 404 error page may be at a core of retaining the user on the website, thus scrolling the content available on the website.

Two examples from popular websites 404 error pages are presented below.

Example of 404 error page in HubSpot Example of 404 error page in Tripadvisor

Is there a need for a helping hand concerning SEO?

We have carried out search engine optimization services for multiple businesses in various industries both in Finland and abroad. Our company is highly skilled and experienced in all sub fields of SEO while receiving a great deal of positive feedback of our services from our customers. In case you are intrigued by any services regarding search engine optimization, do not hesitate to contact us!