404 Error Pages- GOOGLE'S SECRET REVEALED

Guna Nadar

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Detailed overview on how Google present their 404 error pages. Learn it from the leaders

Dear Webmasters, SEO friends,

Ever wondered how Google sets up its 404 pages? While searching for some help for Google analytics, I came across one of its broken links and was astonished to see how they practice what they preach. The 404 page from Google has the secret essence to create a successful 404 page as done by Google's webmasters.

404 ERROR PAGE

The 404 URL
https://www.google.com/analytics/web/answer.py?answer=1032415

Google's Guide to 404
http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=93641


HERE IS WHAT THEY PREACH ABOUT 404 ERROR PAGES

Creating useful 404 pages
If you have access to your server, we recommend that you create a custom 404 page. A good custom 404 page will help people find the information they're looking for, as well as providing other helpful content and encouraging them to explore your site further.

(Note: This article covers guidelines for creating the content of your custom 404 page. For information on configuring your server to display your new 404 page, check your server or web hoster documentation. You should still make sure that your webserver returns a 404 status code to users and spiders, so that search engines don't accidentally index your custom 404 page.)

Because a 404 page can also be a standard HTML page, you can customize it any way you want. Here are some suggestions for creating an effective 404 page that can help keep visitors on your site and help them find the information they're looking for:

THIS IS WHAT THEY PRACTISE

    Tell visitors clearly that the page they're looking for can't be found. Use language that is friendly and inviting.
- HOW CLEAR FRIENDLY AND INVITING IS THIS?    

    Make sure your 404 page uses the same look and feel (including navigation) as the rest of your site.
- SAME LOOK AND FEEL. HMM WE SEE ONLY WHITE SPACES HERE

    Consider adding links to your most popular articles or posts, as well as a link to your site's home page.
- I DO NOT FIND ANY LINKS OR CONTENT HERE

    Think about providing a way for users to report a broken link.
- A FORM OR EMAIL? IS THAT WHAT WE ARE TALKING ABOUT? THERE IS NONE HERE

    No matter how beautiful and useful your custom 404 page, you probably don't want it to appear in Google search results. In order to prevent 404 pages from being indexed by Google and other search engines, make sure that your webserver returns an actual 404 HTTP status code when a missing page is requested.


    Use the Enhance 404 widget to embed a search box on your custom 404 page and provide users with useful information to help them find the information they need.
- WHY IT IS NOT IMPLEMENTED HERE?
    Use the Change of Address tool to tell Google about your site's move.


MY SINCERE APOLOGIES IF THE TITLE WAS MISLEADING. IT IS JUST ONE EXAMPLE OF HOW GOOGLE IGNORES THEIR OWN RULES AND YET EXPECT WEBMASTERS TO FOLLOW WHAT THEY PREACH.
 

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About Guna Nadar

Guna Nadar

Brief Info about Guna Nadar +

I mostly write technical aspects and not much into creative writing. For the past decade I worked along with top notch SEO & Internet Marketing professionals which naturally lured me into the world of Search Engines. When I am not writing I read from comics to philosophy.Antiques, Fishing, hunting are my passions. Currently I am working on Google Penalty protection and .... more info


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