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What is a 404 Page? [Video FAQ Series]

Dec 22, 2011 / by Boyd Norwood

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A 404 page shows on a user's screen when they reach a page that doesn't exist on the website. This can happen when they reach a page that was deleted, clicking a broken link, or typing the wrong URL.

More than likely you've encountered a few humerous 404 pages in your web surfing days, but did you know a good 404 page is much more than just a placeholder?

SEO best practices suggest your site's 404 page should be a custom page to help visitors find the info they are looking for.

According to Google's Webmaster Tools help section, the page should:

  • Advise visitors that the page they were searching for isn't found.
  • Look the same as the rest of the site, and include a link to the home page.
  • Include a search box to allow the visitor to narrow their search for the page they're looking for.
  • Show a list of recommended pages or posts.

Check with your hosting provider for recommendations on how to display the 404 page properly.

Topics: SEO Blog

Boyd Norwood

Written by Boyd Norwood

Boyd Norwood is the president of SEO.com. He came to the company as the director of search engine marketing in September of 2010 and worked with several teams and hundreds of clients since then. He has worked in the industry for 10 years. He enjoys spending time with his wife and four boys, playing ping pong and basketball, and is always up for talking about some conspiracy or another.

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