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Explained: What Is Error 404 Not Found?

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This article will tell you everything about the error 404 not found page and show you how to fix it in simple steps. Let’s get going.

- Updated: 14th Jan 2023, 22:16 IST
  • 1
    So, what do you understand by HTTP protocol?
    • Error codes
  • 2
    What do you understand by a 404 error?
  • 3
    The misconception
  • 4
    Why are you receiving a 404 error?
  • 5
    How to fix the 404 error?
  • 6
    What is the need to fix this error?

Before we go into detail on the error 404 Not Found status code, let’s review some web protocol fundamentals and how they affect all 400 problems. The Internet is essentially made up of two components. One. There are two servers and two clients. Clients, then, are your browser. Chrome, Firefox, Safari, or, if you’re looking for a challenge, Internet Explorer.

Here’s a tip: Having a clean, easy-to-navigate website will always help you develop your business. This is covered in-depth in our article “Essential Website Features.” You might want to have a look at this.

So, let’s get down to business.

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So, what do you understand by HTTP protocol?

You are normally making a request from a web server when you access the Internet with one of these clients. A request is made, and the server answers. Every time you click a link, something similar happens. The HTTP protocol is what you use to make this request.

So protocols are actually just Internet standards that everyone has agreed upon. It’s a well-thought-out language that we’ve all decided to create. These protocols are followed by both clients and servers.

Error codes

What occurs after a client sends a request to the server? The status codes tell us if the request was successful, unsuccessful, or somewhere in between. An HTTP status code is exactly that.

So let’s get started on each of these.

  1. 1xx: Informational requests
  2. 2xx: Successful requests
  3. 3xx: Redirection
  4. 4xx: Client Errors
  5. 5xx:  Server Errors

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What do you understand by a 404 error?

The 404 error, often known as the page not found error, is a Hypertext Transfer Protocol standard response code that states that the server was unable to locate the requested resource. This warning may also show if the server refuses to provide the requested data or if the content has been removed.

The “Error 404 not found” web page is generated if a web page cannot be found due to a broken or dead link. This error code has become one of the most well-known on the internet.

This error may be referred to by different names on different websites. For instance, you might come across the following:

  • 404
  • 404 Not Found
  • Error 404 Not Found
  • 404 Resource not found
  • 404 Page Not Found
  • Error 404
  • HTTP 404
  • 404 File or Directory Not Found

Client errors are represented as 4xx blocks (such as 400, 403, 404, and 405 errors). This indicates that the page could not be found or that something went wrong with the request. So whatever is going on on the client’s end is the problem with the 4xx.

So, a 400 indicates a Bad Request, a 402 indicates Payment Required, a 403 indicates Forbidden, a 404 indicates Not Found, and so on until you reach the 426 error code. The main premise here is that any 4xx status code indicates a client issue.

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The misconception

It isn’t true that all 404 errors are undesirable. It is a frequent misunderstanding believed by many people. You must provide your user with a 404 page. As a result, if a user mistypes a URL or something else happens, your user will be directed to that page.

A lot of folks have this ridiculous concept that their website can’t have any 404s. This isn’t the case. If the URL is incorrect or mistyped, serving a 404 error is perfectly acceptable. In reality, it serves as a true compass for the user. As a result, the user experience improves.

Another myth is that if your page contains any 404 errors, Google will not rank your page in search results. However, this is incorrect as well. In reality, the situation is just the contrary. Google would be fine with it if the page had never existed before. Serving a 404 will not result in a penalty from Google. Furthermore, the 404 page provides a positive user experience. And the Google crawling system favours websites that provide a positive user experience.

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Why are you receiving a 404 error?

A 404 error code can be caused by a number of factors:

  • When a page has been removed from a website, this is a common cause of an error 404 notice.
  • The page was redirected to a different URL, and the redirection was wrong.
  • You typed in the wrong URL address.
  • The server can occasionally fail, even though it is extremely unusual.
  • The domain name you entered is no longer active.

After a page has been deleted or relocated, broken links are frequently left for a long time. The cause seems to be that websites that connect to this page are either no longer exists or that it has a new URL. It is typical for websites to fail to frequently verify their external links, resulting in users trying to reach a dead link. That is why webmasters must maintain their websites on a regular basis.

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How to fix the 404 error?

In most cases, the solution is to redirect existing pages with a lot of link equity to a new page. The redirection to the home page is standard practice. However, redirecting that broken link to the closest page you have is the best option.

If you discover a broken link, another alternative is to recreate the page. If necessary, change the URL and redirect it to the new link. However, if you have ancient legacy pages with a lot of link value or a lot of links from other websites, you may want to reconsider. In order to preserve link equity, you should use 301 redirects.

Another alternative is to create visually appealing 404 error pages. When a user displays a page and receives a 404, the “404 Page Not Found” page will present the user with a variety of options.

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What is the need to fix this error?

So, what role do 404 pages have in SEO? 404 pages have an effect on search results. When a page returns a 404 error, it indicates that the link is broken. This also means that it will not be indexed by Google or other search engines (eventually). 404 errors, according to Google, are a common occurrence on the internet. They’re common because the web is always evolving; new content is created, old content becomes obsolete, and Google itself experiences 404 problems. However, there is no getting around the fact that 404 pages are bad for SEO.

In their algorithms, Google and other search engines prioritise fresh and new material. As a result, if your website receives a lot of HTTP 404 errors, it’s a symptom that the content on your site is old and out-of-date. To cut a long tale short, it informs search engines that you are not maintaining your website, which will negatively impact your SEO rankings. It goes without saying that no one can avoid 404 pages. So, if you have some, don’t be concerned. The most crucial aspect is to inspect and repair them on a regular basis.

Moreover, website owners dislike the not found since it might ruin a user’s online experience. Users may be frustrated by the mistake since they are unable to access the desired page. This may lead to a poor user experience. As a website owner, you need to make sure that the 404 error page includes connections to your home page, a popular blog post, a popular product on your website, the contact page, or even a way for users to report a broken link.

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Highlights of the Story

  • A 404 error means that the page you’re looking for isn’t available.
  • You can try a few different approaches to fix 404 issues on your own or other websites.
  • All you need to know about the 404 page not found error is right here.

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