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10 votes
Accepted

Could a brand name called "Error 404" cause SEO issues?

You will be able to get your most of your content indexed, but there will probably be some SEO issues associated with that brand name. Google uses heuristics to determine if the page is an error page. ...
Stephen Ostermiller's user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

Ok to use meta noindex on 404 pages?

There's no problem having a meta noindex tag on the 404 page, to prevent 200 OK responses being indexed. If this was a PHP page then you could obviously just send a 404 Not Found header as part of the ...
MrWhite's user avatar
  • 42.8k
6 votes
Accepted

Is it necessary to handle every 404 reported in Google Search Console?

Is it necessary to handle every 404 reported in Google Search Console? No. You only need to resolve 404 errors in Google Search Console (GSC) if it's not meant to be a 404. ie. If your site is ...
MrWhite's user avatar
  • 42.8k
6 votes
Accepted

Weird bot requests in logs

So I dealt with something similar a while back and it was a real pain. I was constantly getting requests for random pdfs and Mexican food recipes in my logs. The IPs were Googlebot, Bingbot, etc (...
Mike Ciffone's user avatar
  • 6,390
5 votes

Google bot hits on files 'apple-app-site-association' and 'assetlinks.json' showing up in Google Webmasters as pages with errors

The file which is being requested is a json file used by some websites to map certain sections of the site and certain pages to a native app so that going into those sections or pages will ...
Chris Rutherfurd's user avatar
5 votes

Is it bad for SEO to return a 404 for a page that is temporarily unavailable instead of a redirect to the home page?

A 302 to the home page is likely to be seen as a soft-404 anyway, so that's unlikely to be of any benefit. A 404 can be perceived as temporary (a 410 is more permanent) and if the page doesn't exist ...
MrWhite's user avatar
  • 42.8k
5 votes
Accepted

Is Google responsible for th1s_1s_a_4o4.html?

Found this on a Site Lock Facebook page. SiteLock - Website Security Thanks for the info. After looking into your account, you do have a free scanner provided by your hosting company. In order ...
Michael's user avatar
  • 66
5 votes
Accepted

Does Google return to visit a page with 404 Error?

Nice question. The short answer is yes. As long as the error 404 URL has internal/external links pointing to them, Google will eventually visit the page. We can check this through: Google Search ...
Emirodgar's user avatar
  • 3,817
4 votes
Accepted

Looking for explanation of Apache behavior on manipulating headers

how this workaround indeed works PHP runs later in the request, so most of the time you can simply override any headers that Apache has already set in your PHP code. That's pretty much it. (Aside: ...
MrWhite's user avatar
  • 42.8k
4 votes
Accepted

What to do with unwanted URLs that link to my website?

Unfortunately there's not much you can do. You can't prevent these other (hacked) sites from linking to you. Besides, once Google has found these (now erroneous) URLs, it is likely to continue ...
DocRoot's user avatar
  • 4,297
4 votes
Accepted

Should I redirect all strange URLs in Google Webmaster Tools?

If you never intended to have such urls in your site and they truly mean nothing for you, then it's better to keep serving them as a 404 - a page that is not found - not existing in the site. Use ...
FFrewin's user avatar
  • 375
4 votes
Accepted

How does this link redirect?

The initial request for http://www.esdc.gc.ca/en/cpp/post_retirement/eligibility.page returns a page that contains the following... <script> window.location.replace("/cgi-bin/op-so/err/404-fra....
Jonathan Suter's user avatar
4 votes

404 page vs. 404 server answer

The TLDR; answer: Send out a 404 header, don't change the url. The longer answer: There are more options then you suggest, which I'm not going to list here (because it's not really needed). The ...
Martijn's user avatar
  • 6,806
4 votes

404 page vs. 404 server answer

the url remains the same, but the page has the status code 404, This is certainly the preferred option, as Martijn suggests. For a "custom" error page on Apache (ignoring the CMS option for a moment),...
MrWhite's user avatar
  • 42.8k
4 votes

Should I return 404 from dynamic product page if product no longer exists?

I would think you would need to return a 410 status code (gone) because this tells the spiders/clients that it is no longer in existence and remove it from the search engine/client cache.
drtechno's user avatar
  • 329
4 votes
Accepted

Should I index 404.html in my "sitemap.xml" file?

404 Pages exist to let the users/browsers know that the page does not exist. There is no reason or need to index a 404 page. As long as your 404 page passes the error code, it is fine.
idk's user avatar
  • 988
4 votes
Accepted

Can I tell google to temporarily index certain pages? I don't know if I want it to be permanent

Google understands that links are created and broken all the time on the web, so don't feel like you're making some kind of "permanent" commitment to Google by asking them to index a URL. ...
Maximillian Laumeister's user avatar
4 votes
Accepted

Recreating content for 404 backlinks

Could I create pages for those backlinks, for instance showing a picture of grand canyon with a notice that this might not be the image the visitor is looking for since the site now serves a different ...
Malte Landwehr's user avatar
4 votes
Accepted

What to do with unwanted URL parameters?

Use a canonical tag The best option is usually to use a canonical tag to tell search engines that the preferred URL doesn't have those URL parameters. This handles the duplicate content issues ...
Stephen Ostermiller's user avatar
4 votes
Accepted

Is it good SEO to meta refresh / JavaScript an error page to my homepage?

If the content still exists as pages on the new site, 301 redirect them to the new URL rather than throw a 404. That way any backlinks will still carry value, and users won't hit a 404 page whilst ...
RichardB's user avatar
  • 2,379
3 votes
Accepted

Google Webmaster finding url with redirects

There are two types of redirects : 1) 301 : permanent redirect -> If you have added this, then google will know that you have permanently moved this page and will store this in its index. 2) 302 : ...
abhinsit's user avatar
  • 1,714
3 votes
Accepted

Why is a map page reported as a "soft 404" in Google Search Console?

Soft 404s are caused when Google thinks you should have returned a 404/410 for a request, but instead returned 200. Google defines this as when ‘the content of the page is entirely unrelated to the ...
grg's user avatar
  • 3,207
3 votes

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

As I'm watching one of my sites closely, I noticed that the cache is now giving me a 404. I just bought a new domain name and the Google cache of that domain home page would return the old home page ...
Alexis Wilke's user avatar
  • 2,235
3 votes

WordPress creating URLs which are not found

Given the default behavior of WordPress, what you describe almost has to be a misbehaving plugin or custom function in your functions.php file. What I would do is the following: Disable all plugins ...
JCL1178's user avatar
  • 5,592
3 votes

Google bot hits on files 'apple-app-site-association' and 'assetlinks.json' showing up in Google Webmasters as pages with errors

You are not being hacked. Google Bot is trying to see if you have those files using Digital Assets Links protocol to check whether your website has any association with an App. You can read more ...
jmuchiri's user avatar
  • 131
3 votes

Why is Googlebot calling an AJAX method with GET rather than POST?

Googlebot only performs POST requests under very limited circumstances where it is believed by the Googlebot that it is safe and appropriate. Google takes precautions to avoid performing tasks on a ...
Chris Rutherfurd's user avatar
3 votes

Automatic redirect of all deleted webpages (that doesn't have a specific redirection) to root?

FINAL ANSWER UPDATE So I just learned the reason the OP wants to use 301 redirect is get rid of the annoyance of recurring errors even though new site maps have been submitted and marked as fixed. ...
norcal johnny's user avatar
3 votes

CNAME pointing towards a Heroku page isn't working

You can't just set a CNAME and hope for the best when it comes to Heroku. You actually need to log into the Heroku admin panel and configure the CNAME record that you are creating so that Heroku knows ...
Chris Rutherfurd's user avatar
3 votes

Is serving a blank page rather than a 404 error bad for SEO?

Google does indeed call these soft 404s...Soft 404s are a pet peeve of mine. They are very common, many of the sites I have access to the Google Search Console data for have them. But they shouldn't....
adam-asdf's user avatar
  • 2,077
3 votes
Accepted

Google Search Console: 404 errors on existing pages

If Google is reporting these pages as a 404 (and this has been confirmed with the "Fetch as Google" tool in Google Search Console), yet they appear to be perfectly accessible and return a 200 OK when ...
DocRoot's user avatar
  • 4,297

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