What is 404 Error?

A 404 error is when someone can’t find what they are looking for on your website. It typically means that the page or file they were trying to access was not found, either because it doesn’t exist anymore or because there’s some other technical issue preventing them from accessing it.

404 error page

For example, if you type in google.com and instead of Google showing up as expected, you get a blank screen with a “404” message at the top-left corner indicating that something has gone wrong…

A 404 error occurs when the web browser requests a URL (Uniform Resource Locator) that does not correspond to any existing resource on the server. In short: somebody clicked a link and got sent to an internet address that does not exist. We often call it a “Page Not Found.”

The 404 error means the visitor was trying to access a page or file that is no longer available on your site, either because you removed it, renamed it, or moved it elsewhere in your website hierarchy. You should provide helpful messaging on what has happened and where else they might find what they’re looking for so as not to confuse them further. You could also offer other ways of finding information like searching through our categories via a search box instead:

If you are getting repeated 404 errors from Google Analytics, this may be due to robots crawling links outside of your domain (i.e., Googlebot-news). To prevent these pages from being indexed by Google Analytics, block bot domains in your robots.txt file.

Some other common web server codes you can explore are 200 and 301.

  • A Web server’s fundamental purpose is to serve webpages, and a common code for this is 200. This means that the page has been found by the users’ search engine of choice.
  • Another status message you might see is 301 codes. These indicate when files have moved from one location on a website to another or if they’ve simply changed names without moving any physical file locations at all. The most important thing about these messages? They’re not seen directly by visitors but rather used as tools in SEO strategies and monitoring software alike- so it pays off to monitor them closely!

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