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I've transferred a domain and made a mistake in the redirects (the URL structure is identical). Even though they went to the new domain, the error caused a 404 when crawled by Google bot. 10 days after I saw and corrected my redirect mistake, and now the site should (hopefully) redirect to proper pages.

Q1: The URLs of the 404 pages in the Webmaster Tools all bear the mistake and will never be available at the new site. I marked them as fixed in the tools. Do I need to do something about that, like 301 rewrite them with a condition to fix the error?

Q2: Does Google bot attempt to recrawl 301 pages that pointed to a 404?

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In descending order of preference, I would suggest the following options:

  • Make the incorrect URLs return 301 redirects to the correct ones. If practical, this is by far the best solution. It will let Google update its index, and it will take any visitor stumbling across one of those URLs (e.g. from an outdated Google search result) directly to the page they want.

  • If setting up 301 redirects is impractical, the second-best option is to configure your web server to return a 410 Gone response instead of a plain 404 for the incorrect URLs. Google treats this response code as a signal that the pages have been deliberately removed, and should not be re-crawled (as much).

Of course, you should also make sure that your redirects from the old domain really do work, and that there are no links to the incorrectly redirected URLs anywhere. In particular, you should check your web server access logs for any non-bot requests for those URLs, which would indicate that visitors are still somehow finding them.

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Q1: The URLs of the 404 pages in the Webmaster Tools all bear the mistake and will never be available at the new site. I marked them as fixed in the tools. Do I need to do something about that, like 301 rewrite them with a condition to fix the error?

Its a better idea to make 301 redirect from 404 pages to the related pages of the new website. So users will get the information about the old pages are not available anymore. Once you fix the crawl error and redirect that link to a good URL that will help your website to boost the ranking in Google. Because the link juice will pass to the new URLs that are pointing to a dead URL on your site.

In Sitemaps: If you have an old sitemap that you have removed from Webmaster Tools, and you don’t want being crawled, make sure you let that sitemap 404 and that you are not redirecting the sitemap to your current sitemap.

Q2: Does Google bot attempt to recrawl 301 pages that pointed to a 404?

As per Google “The best way to stop Googlebot from crawling URLs that it has discovered in the past is to make those URLs (such as your old Sitemaps) 404. After seeing that a URL repeatedly 404s, Google stops crawling it. After Google stops crawling a Sitemap, it should drop out of your "All Sitemaps" tab.”

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Q1: The URLs of the 404 pages in the Webmaster Tools all bear the mistake
and will never be available at the new site. I marked them as fixed in the
tools. Do I need to do something about that, like 301 rewrite them with a
condition to fix the error?

You might want to redirect them to a page telling users these pages are not available anymore, rather than a 404. It is also better for link juice.

Q2: Does Google bot attempt to recrawl 301 pages that pointed to a 404?

Yes, but it will progressively remove the pages of your old website from its index. So you should get less of these 404. Unless, of course, if there are backlinks to those pages. In that case Google will attempt to crawl these while the backlink exists. This is why a non-404 landing page may help.

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    It is also better for link juice not always, you should only retain juice when you have relevant pages, Google clamped down ego's ago. – Simon Hayter Aug 22 '14 at 7:43

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