404 Errors Is It Still Worth Fixing - Cheeky Monkey Media

404 Errors: Is It Still Worth Fixing?

Encountering a 404 error is annoying. That is a universal truth. The task of locating and fixing this error is also a challenge. The question now is whether a 404 error is still worth the time and effort.

Google’s John Mueller had some interesting things to say about this dilemma. He also shared some key insights into fixing inbound broken links.

The Search for Broken Links

The team leader of Google’s Trends Analyst group says there are some vital steps a webmaster can make. First, he or she should study the analytics of the 404 page. The web designer should then narrow down the domain. This helps pinpoint relevant broken links. He or she should then look into the server logs. This helps develop a more comprehensive perspective.

To Fix or Not to Fix

Mueller said the answer to this dilemma isn’t straightforward. He said the SEO benefit of fixing a 404 might not be worth the effort. This search expert admits that not every 404 error needs attention. He says some broken links do need fixing. Many other errors are better left alone.

The challenge is knowing when fixing 404 errors is worthwhile. Mueller said developers should work on the error when it affects one’s content. For example, there was a wrong external link made to your content. Another case is if the webpage URL changes without a 301 redirect.

Mueller said it’s worth looking into the problem if there are solutions offered by SEO updates. He mentioned a fix like the Redirection WordPress plugin.

There are cases when a programmer should accept the 404 error. Mueller said the response is acceptable when a service is no longer offered.