Posts tagged with 404 Pages

SEO considerations for discontinued products in ecommerce

I was recently asked for advice on the best course of action for discontinued products for an ecommerce site and whether you should follow Google’s previous advice to let the pages 404.

I decided to write this piece up because it’s something that’s talked about a lot, but rarely written about. I’m half suggesting people to question bits of it, as it’s an area that is, in my opinion, pretty subjective.

In this specific scenario, the website was a very large fashion retailer, meaning that products are frequently discontinued (with no intention of bringing them back) at the end of each season.

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AdWords scripts: scan your landing pages and put an end to errors

Welcome back to our Intro to AdWords scripts series where we're training you to automate your account management using scripts. 

Landing pages with broken URLs can wreak havoc in your AdWords account.

Whether the links have moved or were inputted incorrectly from the start, the outcome is the same: you’re paying for dead-end clicks. 

This week’s article will be an introduction to automated destination URL checking in your AdWords account.

We’ll go through a basic URL checking script and explain what’s going on, line by line.

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The ultimate guide to….the 404 status code and SEO

Every page you visit on the Internet will return something called a ‘status code’, a code consisting of three numbers that communicate to the requester the status of their request for a particular page.

A 404 is ultimately an error message by default and is a very frequent and recognisable message experienced by every single internet user. 404s are not inherently bad, they exist for a very good reason.

Their ambiguous nature however means that search engines (and your users, and your rankings) will often benefit from some direction on what action to take when they come across them. Without this direction and left unmanaged, 404 errors are problematic.

Here are the SEO impacts and the possible solutions...

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12 inspired 404 pages that make falling into a hole fun

From time to time I like to compile some of the the more recent examples of 404 pages that I’ve seen, which stand out for their creativity. Here's my latest semi-regular round-up of the web's more entertaining error pages.

It’s worth pointing out in advance that not all of the following comply with best practice. If a user can’t find a page (typically the result of a broken link, which isn’t their fault, or a mis-typed URL, which is) then it is your job to guide them out of a hole.

In practice, this means a link back to your homepage at the very least, and preferably a search box, links to popular areas of your site, and some kind of messaging that tells the user what’s going on.

On top of that I think it is a good idea to throw in a little humour, context, and / or entertainment that makes light of a lame situation. To that end, these 12 examples should provide some inspiration for you to overhaul an often overlooked page on your site.

Your users may thank you for it. And hey, you might generate a few new inbound links from websites that like to compile these things!

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12 fun 404 pages that make errors tolerable

I’ve written about inspiring 404 pages in the past, as every site will break from time to time, and I think it makes sense to put in a little thought to how you handle errors. 

Your visitors will be more forgiving of errors if you make them smile, ideally while helping them find their way. Also, clever, witty or charming 404 pages can be great for inbound links (as proved by this post).

I wouldn’t file all of the following examples under ‘best practice’, as in some cases there should be better navigation options, but many of them are humorous and on-brand, and may help you to figure out what you can do with yours. 

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16 creative 404 pages to inspire you to overhaul yours

Often, on the web, links break or users type in the wrong URL. Sometimes pages go AWOL. At this point a 404 page is displayed, and I thought I’d compile a few of the more recent ones that I’ve spotted.

The thing with 404 pages is that they are often overlooked and uncared for. Ours is in need of a humour injection, though it ticks some of the more important best practice boxes by including a search tool, sitemap and link to the homepage.

Based on many of these examples, this post should be filed under inspiration, as opposed to best practice, though if you are going to revamp your own 404 page then be sure to help users dig their way out of the hole they’ve fallen into. 

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Robots.txt And 404 pages: sometimes funny, always important

My last few posts have been fairly serious, so I figured I would mix in a little fun with this one and I'm soliciting input too (there’s a £50 prize for the best contribution,see at the end).

I've seen a spate of "Easter Egg" links doing the rounds on Twitter recently, some of which have been pretty inspired. They’re generally either the 404 page or the robots.txt page.

The topic for this post is to talk a little bit about what these pages are actually for and to share some of my favourites among the new ones I've seen recently.

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