Error 404 Not Found. What is it and how to fix it?

Posted on / by Arifur / in BMG's Marketing Blog
Imagine this situation: you are browsing your favorite website, and you see an article that attracts you to click on it. After that, it turns out that when you click, it takes you to a page that tells you: Error 404. Page not found. Doesn’t it happen to you that the next thing you do is close the browser and something else butterfly?
You are not wasting your time, your time is the most valuable thing you have. So if you spend some time surfing the Internet either for pleasure or because you need to find something. What you least want is to find the famous broken links, that is, click somewhere and do not take you to the expected result.
That is what happens with Page 404 Error not found. If as a user you are not willing to waste your time on websites that have broken links (404), why do you have them on your own website?

What is a 404 not found error (page not found)?


Well, without getting into technicalities, let’s say it‘s a way to get an answer through HTTP. The response to any HTTP request carries a response code. In the case of page errors not found the code is 404.
Thus, when you as a user click on a link that you have seen and like. Then a request will go to the server of your hosting that must have the content of the landing page of the link you clicked.
In addition to other results here, you can produce two results. One is that the server does not respond to, and another is the server responds but does not find the content you were looking for. The second situation is the one that produces an Error 404 of Page not found. The server searches for the page you requested, however, it failed and turned out to be an Error 404.

Why do I have a 404 Not Found error?


Error 404 may be due to many causes, but some are usually:
  • The link spelling is not correct. That is, instead of putting https://www.bmgww.com/performance-media-enterprise/ you put https://www.bmgww.com/perforce-media-enterprise/. If that post does not exist, then the result of the page not found will appear. And this error occurs, returning a 404 code.
  • Deleted destination URL. That is, following the previous example, that this post no longer exists. And therefore, the result is a page not found.
  • That the destination URL has been moved. Imagine you have an SEO-for-dummies category and now you have changed it to SEO without further ado. This may cause an Error 404 of Page not found.
  • This error also often occurs when migrations made from an old website to a new one where the URLs change. You have to map old URLs to new ones so you don’t have these problems.
A very typical example is the case when you do a marketing campaign. In which you take the target audience to a landing and your URL has spelled wrong. Or the campaign has already passed and that landing does not make sense.

Do I have to resolve 404 errors? 


Nothing happens to have 404 links. They are not the worst. In fact, they can be a coherent signal for Google to imply that content that existed before no longer exists.

But beware, that doesn’t mean you swell to generate 404 errors. It is a symptom of carelessness and that the website is not working well.

So the answer is yes: better solve the 404 errors that your website is generating or have controlled why they exist and you have them.


How do I know if I have broken links or 404 errors on my website?


Very easy. There are many tools that help to analyze your website and find those broken internal links leading to 404 error. Assuredly, you can use paid tools as well. They allow you to make a complete On-Page Analysis of your entire website and informs you of the possible problems you have, including this type of errors.

What if I am not willing to pay a tool for it? And I don’t want to hire an SEO marketing agency either? In that case, you can use tools such as Screaming Frog (it allows you to analyze 500 URLs of your website in its free version) which gives you information about the possible broken links you have on your website.

Obviously, you should not leave behind Google Search Console (former Google Webmaster Tools). Google Search Console is a free Google tool that allows you to see crawling errors on your website. In that section, you can find 404 errors that Google has detected on your website.


How should I fix 404 not found error?


Well, what you have to do is the following:

  • Go to the error detected by the shift tool. Normally, in detail, they tell you which page is the one with the broken link and which one is said to link. So, go to the page that contains the broken link. Visit it and see first-hand that there really is a link somewhere that leads to Error 404. This way you will better understand the whole process.
  • Once the error is located, you have to analyze the reason why it is happening. Is the link is misspelled? Is it that the landing page you know doesn’t exist anymore?
  • Once you know the reason, apply the correct correction:
    • If the link is misspelled, write it well! What are you waiting for!
    • If the link leads to a page that no longer exists, remove that link or change it to another page that leads to an existing page.
    • If the link leads to a page that no longer exists because it is now called otherwise, change the link to point to the new one.

Redirect 301 from the old URL to the new


If analyzing all this, you are seeing that the problem is that your links do not work because the URLs are new or different from how they were before, do not forget that just like you have detected your broken internal links, there may be other websites that have linked your old pages and still have 404-page error problem not found.

How do you solve this problem if you cannot access the website of others to change the links? Very simple: use 301 redirects for them.

Another day I will talk more in detail about 301 redirects, but to give you an idea, it is to tell Google that if someone navigates to a URL A that no longer exists, they will go directly to URL B which is the new one, without the User notices anything.

Depending on the CMS you are using and your expertise in these tasks, redirects can be applied in various ways either through plugins.

For example, in my blog, I use the Redirection WordPress plugin. Moreover, the same plugin works for me, since if I modify the URL of an article already published, he directly takes care of generating the relevant 301 redirects.


Backlink Strategies as Part of Our SEO Service at BMG


Our goal at BMG is to drive every brand’s digital future through media, content and innovation. As a global Full Stack Marketing Agency we offer Search Engine optimization (SEO) for different Search Engines like Google, Baidu, Naver and more. We make sure your website ranks higher in the search engine result pages of the specific search engine. Along with increases keyword rankings, decrease bounce rates, gets additional traffic through organic and enhances conversions.

As one of the major ranking factors, off-page strategies, especially the implementation of the described backlink strategies are part of our SEO Service. If you like to know more about our services or if you got any questions or comments, don’t hesitate to contact us.