A 404 page is an error page that appears when a user tries to access a web page that cannot be found on the server. While 404 errors are common, they can have a negative impact on your website’s SEO if they are not handled properly.
Here are some reasons why 404 pages matter in SEO:
- User Experience: When a user lands on a 404 page, it can be frustrating and confusing. If they can’t find what they’re looking for, they may leave your website and never come back. This can increase your website’s bounce rate, which is a negative SEO signal.
- Broken Links: If there are broken links on your website, it can lead to 404 errors. Broken links can occur when a webpage is deleted, moved, or renamed without proper redirection. Broken links can harm your SEO by reducing the authority of your website, as well as causing user frustration.
- Crawl Budget: Search engines allocate a limited amount of time and resources to crawl your website. If there are too many 404 errors on your website, it can waste crawl budget and reduce the visibility of your important pages.
To mitigate the negative impact of 404 errors on your website’s SEO, you should customize your 404 page to provide a helpful message to users and include links to your most important pages. You should also regularly check your website for broken links and fix them promptly. By taking these steps, you can improve your website’s user experience and SEO performance.