The 404 or Not Found error message is a HTTP standard response code indicating that the client was able to communicate with the server, but the server could not find what was requested.

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30
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4answers
3k views

Files I should have on every website

I would like to have a list of files that should exist on every website. The idea is to please most browsers and bots and get down with the number of 404 messages in the logs. So far I have the ...
13
votes
5answers
12k views

Why am I seeing unexpected requests for “crossdomain.xml” in my logs?

I've getting lots of 404 errors from crossdomain.xml. Here are the request details, as provided by Google App Engine: 404 22ms 19cpu_ms 0kb Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64) AppleWebKit/534.30 ...
12
votes
3answers
7k views

Google is still crawling and indexing my old, dummy, test pages which now are 404 not found

I have set up my site with sample pages and data (lorem ipsum, etc..) and Google has crawled these pages. I deleted all these pages and actually added real content but in webmaster tools, i still get ...
12
votes
4answers
1k views

ecommerce item deleted by user, 301 redirect to HOME PAGE or 404 not found?

I know this question is someway similar to this one where they recommend using 404, but after reading this other one where they suggest to use 301 when changing site URLs (in the specific case was due ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

Is it better to have an ErrorDocument 404 redirect back to the homepage or a standard 404 error page?

We run an ecommerce site that was setup by a third party ecommerce software provider, basic shop with product pages, basket and checkout. The third party vendor set up the htaccess file so that if a ...
11
votes
5answers
2k views

Does it make sense to return a 410 instead of 404 when some page has been permanently removed?

Does it make sense to return a 410 instead of 404 when some page has been permanently removed? In this video, Matt Cutts says that Google treats them the same, but are there other reasons to implement ...
10
votes
2answers
312 views

Clients requesting garbled URLs

I've noticed some odd 404s which appear to be broken URL rewriting code. Our image viewer requests tiles using URLs like this: /media/204/service/dzi/1/1_files/7/0_0.jpg I see some - well under ...
8
votes
4answers
239 views

Can missing anchors be logged?

If I have a broken link it gets logged with a 404. If I have a link to an anchor and the anchor is missing, I don't get an entry in the log. How can I find those broken anchor links, especially if the ...
8
votes
1answer
181 views

Importance of custom 404 pages?

I've read in a few design blogs that it's important to design custom 404 pages, but why is this? Don't most users know what these are as you tend to end up seeing them from time to time. Also, if ...
7
votes
5answers
7k views

Massive 404 attack with non existent URLs. How to prevent this?

The problem is a whole load of 404 errors, as reported by Google Webmaster Tools, with pages and queries that have never been there. One of them is viewtopic.php, and I've also noticed a scary number ...
7
votes
3answers
7k views

Why am I seeing 404 requests for crossdomain.xml in my server logs?

My website is recording a lot of 404 errors, from numerous sources, for a file crossdomain.xml. Does anyone know what this file is or why it's being requested?
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Chrome causing 404's ending with “/cache/[hex-string]/”?

Since the last weeks we see many 404's on our sites caused by Chrome adding /cache/[hex-string]/ to the current page URL. The hex strings we have seen are: e9c5ecc3f9d7fa1291240700c8da0728 ...
7
votes
1answer
694 views

Meaning of Crawl errors

My question is about definition of Crawl errors in Google Webmaster Tools. Crawl errors is devided into few sections. Let's first consider HTTP section. I assume that all broken links in this ...
6
votes
4answers
4k views

404 page needs meta description (just to make Google happier)?

I'm fixing some minor things on the 404 page for all my websites. My punctiliousness makes me unable to sleep well unless I get an answer to this question. :) Does a 404 page need a meta description ...
6
votes
3answers
440 views

301 redirect to 404 page or set status code to 404 and stay on page?

I have a number of pages on my website that only administrators can access and access to these pages is given if a querystring value if found and correctly set. For example: ...
6
votes
2answers
268 views

serious 404 problem, suggestions for hunting them all down

I have a bit of a situation coming up. Due to a complete website structure redesign that is basically inevitable, I expect to have the following: Our sitemap of about 12,000 url's have about 90-95% ...
6
votes
1answer
3k views

.htaccess rule to redirect from 404 to search results

When a user (or a bot) request on non existing page, I want to redirect him to the search results. I prefere to do it with the .htaccess file using something like: ErrorDocument 404 ...
6
votes
2answers
327 views

New requests for /cache/ URLs

A few weeks ago requests following this type of pattern: http://mysite/cache/7a226e8aa3a4380444a329a7b0dd0f40 http://mysite/otherfolder/cache/7a226e8aa3a4380444a329a7b0dd0f40 started to appear ...
5
votes
4answers
599 views

404 page echoing request URI - security risk?

I just noticed the default 404 page on one of my hosting accounts displays the requested URI. <!--#echo var="REQUEST_URI" --> I faintly remember hearing or reading that this is a potential ...
5
votes
3answers
3k views

Are penalties applied if you have too many 404 errors on your site?

Do the search engines take the number of 404 errors returned by a site into account when calculating the site rank? For example I have 8,000 404 errors and I am thinking that that's affecting my SEO ...
5
votes
3answers
405 views

Is it ok to 301 redirect deleted pages to the homepage in order to preserve link juice? — Even if the homepage is unrelated content?

I'm about to delete 40+ pages that have quality link juice (I'm deleting them for copy write issues). I'd prefer not to do a 404 header on all of them, because I want to preserve inbound links to ...
5
votes
1answer
102 views

Where Did this 404 Error Come From?

I was looking in Google Webmaster Tools and it said I had the following 404 error: Page Response Code Date Detected lglegl.html 404 11/27/14 The site is for a lawyer ...
5
votes
2answers
351 views

Google Webmaster Tools reports fake 404 errors

I have a website where Google Webmaster Tools reports 15,000 links as 404 errors. However, all links return a 200 when I visit them. The problem is, that eventhough I can visit these pages and return ...
5
votes
1answer
516 views

What is the notified-CompliancePage page?

I sometimes have bots (I assume) hitting pages such as: /notified-CompliancePage?aHR0cDovL3d3dy5teXBpdm90cy5jb20vZGFpbHlub3Rlcw== ...
5
votes
1answer
211 views

How to fix thousands of 404's?

The business I work for recently migrated our e-commerce site from Celerant to Magento. Despite using a robots.txt file and a 301 redirect extension, webmaster tools is reporting that our "not found" ...
5
votes
1answer
425 views

How should incorrectly encoded URLs be handled?

Just recently noticed that some sites link with the URL incorrectly percent-encoded, to which my server (LAMP) responds with a 404 Not Found. For example, for a URL of mine like this: ...
4
votes
1answer
165 views

Can I block requests that have no user agent because they cause 404 errors?

Is it OK to block requests that contain no user agent? I am getting random 404 errors on URLs I have never used. These requests have no user agent. If this is the case, will it affect any of my ...
4
votes
2answers
281 views

Just discovered something I never knew about 404 - could someone explain this

I had always thought that placing anything spurious after the 404 which the server didn't understand would result in a 404; however I had a closer look at a WordPress site which I was building and ...
4
votes
2answers
194 views

Are you aware of any client-side malware that sends lots of junk requests for .gifs?

I am getting dozens of 404 errors on my site that are requests for gif's with apparently random names, like 4273uaqa.gif and 5pwowlag.gif. I see that most of them are coming from one user. I assume ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Why are URLs with my domain name at the end showing up in analytics?

I have a multi-language WordPress site that has been live since the last 3 months and today when I checked Analytics, I saw a lot of weird URLs: ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

How can I stop 404s from favicon.ico without a favicon.ico?

How can I stop requests for favicon.ico without having a favicon.ico? It wastes resources serving a 404 and fills up logs with 404s. Right now I put in a dummy favicon.ico file but I would prefer a ...
4
votes
6answers
3k views

Thousands of 404 errors in Google Webmaster Tools

Because of a former error in our ASP.Net application, created by my predecessor and undiscovered for a long time, thousands of wrong URLs where created dynamically. The normal user did not notice it, ...
4
votes
1answer
297 views

SEO effect of redirecting to 404 page

In a dynamically generated site (PHP, Python, pick your poison), 404 pages are normally handled dynamically to simply send a 404 header and display some error page on the URL that the user visited. ...
4
votes
1answer
4k views

“404. That’s an error.” when viewing from Google cache

My site is getting 404. That’s an error. message when I click on cached from Google search results. This is the error message from Google: That’s an error. The requested URL ...
4
votes
1answer
97 views

Serve 404 error, if typing not exact URL

At the moment, when I type: xyz.lo/abc.php/123 in my webbrowser, Apache serves the same page if I were typing xyz.lo/abc.php Unfortunatelly relative links present in HTML won't work with the ...
4
votes
1answer
66 views

Statically mapping a PHP script to another script using an .htaccess file results in 404 errors

After having read a lot of posts on the topic of URL rewriting, I still remain stuck with 404 status errors. My goal: A 'static' rewrite of URLs, as follows (user clicks or enters the one ...
4
votes
1answer
205 views

What Google will do while switching from 301/404 to 200?

Imagine a pagination script with 20 total pages: articles.php?page=18 What should I do when some third party web site links to a non-existent page? articles.php?page=21 (page 21 is out of ...
4
votes
1answer
339 views

Undefined 404's not logging

Our custom 404 page sends us Emails to notify us of broken links. We've been lately getting emails with such a missing page: http://domain.com/undefined However, no log entries (IIS) exist on that ...
3
votes
3answers
760 views

Why can't GoogleBot forget a 404 File Does Not Exist?

For two months now, googlebot is trying to get a file which does not exist anymore. This is just one example out of many: I had renamed the file to a better name and removed the old file. Now, why ...
3
votes
3answers
310 views

Check for URLs that return my 404 error page

I have made a custom 404 error page called error_404.html In my .htaccess I inserted: ErrorDocument 404 /error_404.html In order to control/correct 404 errors in my website, I would like to know ...
3
votes
3answers
193 views

Avoiding increases in 404 errors after massive URL deletion

We have a relatively new website (no external links, PR0, DA17) and we are making a major change in content. On the one hand we have to incorporate new content and otherwise eliminate much old ...
3
votes
3answers
254 views

SEO (or other) problems with a 404?

I am a member of a writing website called HubPages. We are each given a subdomain on which to write articles and are also given access to Google Webmaster Tools for our subdomain. Upon checking out ...
3
votes
2answers
202 views

Why is AhrefsBot requesting a page that's been removed from my website?

I was reviewing the logs of my website (WordPress), and I saw a line like this : myWebsite:80 5.10.83.28 - - [17/Jan/2014:09:05:53 +0000] "GET myUrl == HTTP/1.1" 404 5716 "-" "Mozilla/5.0 ...
3
votes
2answers
220 views

Do error pages get indexed?

I have just started to put custom error pages on my site. But then I started wondering if google will index these error pages. I searched this up and I didn't get anything, even searched this site, so ...
3
votes
1answer
282 views

Should 404 pages feature in your sitemap.xml

I tend to generate the sitemaps for my static sites (no CMS) by using a service such as xml-sitemaps.com. They way this works if you input your homepage and it crawls all the internal links of a site ...
3
votes
1answer
243 views

How to tell Google my content will expire after a certain period? [duplicate]

Right now I'm facing issues with 404 (Not Found) errors, because my content will deleted automatically after two months. I cannot change this behavior, because it is a real estate web site and once it ...
3
votes
1answer
373 views

Is it bad for SEO to change a URL leaving an old broken URL?

I have a blog site. Assume that I have added a page example.com/appleand that blog page has been crawled by Google. The word "apple" is based on the blog title "Apple". Later, I changed the title ...
3
votes
1answer
726 views

URL/Crawl Errors continue to increase after pharma hack

I'm working with a site that was hacked a couple of months ago and was sending out a ton of spam. The problem seemed to have started with a dormant WordPress blog that was part of the site (so the ...
3
votes
1answer
42 views

HTTPS Causes Broken Back Links?

If I change my URL to force https does this effect all of my backlinks to be broken and to be lost one by one? And if so if I change it back will it will this restore the back links on the site? Any ...
3
votes
2answers
63 views

SEO handling of ever changing portion of site

A portion of a site that I maintain lists job opportunities available within an organization. The opportunities are listed on a single page with a short description which can be clicked on by the user ...