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I have a lot of 404 errors in my Google search console and have been researching this a bit. I understand they are generally not going to impact anything, but I did read that if they are internally linked from your website, that could be a problem for search rankings. My issue is that a lot of these 404 errors are coming from pages I deleted years ago. When I go to see where they are linked from, the answer is the non-www version of the page itself, my homepage (which does not have such a link), and other outdated pages that no longer exist.

This includes: a page that hasn't existed for years; my homepage, which does not have such a link; another page that hasn't existed for years; a page with the same address, but without "www". There are also a ton of pages like this listed in my crawl errors.

I just want to make sure this doesn't end up counting as an internal 404 error that could impact my search rankings? Is it okay to leave it alone?

  • Fix any link on your site and do not worry too much. Most 404s are a result of links made to your site from others. If your site is right and other sites link to non-existent pages, then there is no worry. This is how the web is designed to work. Cheers!! – closetnoc Jan 14 '18 at 1:07
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I just want to make sure this doesn't end up counting as an internal 404 error that could impact my search rankings? Is it okay to leave it alone?

As closetnoc pointed out, remove public-facing links to 404 pages right away.

Also, convert those 404 pages to 410 pages since you're not dealing with them anymore.

When search engines see them as 410 pages, they will give up searching for them when trying to crawl your site because 410 means "gone" where as 404 means "not found at this time" and I say "at this time" because search engines will believe that the page will return at some point in the future.

The end result... a faster server, since each request to your server (regardless of origin) uses resources on your server (example: CPU, disk) for the processing.

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