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Broken Pages

Lesson 19 from: SEO - Website Technical Audit Fundamentals

Kelly Murphy

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Lesson Info

19. Broken Pages

Next Lesson: Duplicate Content

Lesson Info

Broken Pages

it's important to have an overview of the overall crawl air landscape. So now we'll talk about the crawl errors that web masters have the most control over broken pages. These are also often referred to in the S. C. O. Community as status codes. There are five types of status codes but we'll spend most of our time on the most common and flexible ones. You may recognize these codes as we can see here in screaming frog. As the series of three numbers that appear on a landing page when the content can be found with a message, something like, sorry, this page isn't available followed by a 404 not found message. We'll start with two xx errors. So two X. X errors are the gold star of approval. This status code means that everything is a okay. So as you can see here it's even labeled in screaming frog as success. So if we click on that we can see all of the pages on our example marc Jacobs on the marc Jacobs website that are totally fine then three X. X. Errors. So if we click here on redirec...

tion, those represent redirection As an seo pro you'll want to pay attention to what type of redirection is in place. A 301 redirect which we can see here is a permanent solution and this is the best redirection option in most cases 30. Ones carry S. C. O. Equity from the old page to the new page. If we sort here. So if we click on status code and sort the column We can then see 3302 redirects here. So 302 redirects on the other hand are temporary redirects. They don't carry S. C. O. Value with them. And while there are instances in which a developer might prefer to put a 30 to redirect in place, the golden rule is to go with a 301 redirect whenever you can. So we can see here that these are probably fine um since none of them are important pages category or product pages but you might still want to flag them to the client or the developer just to check. So now we'll talk about the most important for X. X errors. So we'll click here on client error and you want to pay close attention to any four X. X. Errors that appear. These are the broken pages that you'll need to fix upon discovery. If you're working with a large e commerce site in particular, staying ahead of these broken pages can be a full time job. So we are looking at a large e com site here marc Jacobs dot com. However, they have no broken pages in screaming frog which is a great sign. Four X X errors are the page not found errors that you're probably the most familiar with seeing and there are many reasons why that content may not be found and the page appears to no longer exist. Usually it's because that content has indeed been removed by the web master but it may have been removed, moved or replaced in error. So you'll ordinarily see at status code but there are also four hundreds which is a bad request code for a ones which are unauthorized codes 403 which is forbidden and then four tens which is gone. And you wanna make note of these because they'll give you clues as to what happened as you're trying to troubleshoot the four xx errors and then five xx is our server errors. So we'll click here again. The marc Jacobs site doesn't have any of these, which is great and server errors mean that the user's request was valid but the server either failed to complete this request or timed out looking for the content. A is an internal server error which confuses both search engines and users and falls to the authority with access to the server to diagnose and resolve 503 means the service is unavailable, which indicates to search engines that the issue is temporary due to maintenance or other concerns but visitors will be affected regardless. So important distinctions you want to keep in mind when you talk to the client about these issues. So in summary three X X four X X and five X X errors should be given attention by S. C. O practitioners for all three, you'll need to work with a site developer to resolve them. Review and document any instances of response codes and broken links. In most cases for broken pages with a four x X code, the solution is to redirect that old defunct page to a new one that features the most relevant content possible. For example, if a fashion website like marc Jacobs dot com removes a product like address that is sold out and won't be restocked best practices to remove this page completely. However, if the web master has not done so and the page has accrued S EO value over time, you can keep this equity in the family by implementing a 301 redirect. In this case, the most relevant page at which users might still find something they're looking for would probably be the women's clothing category page. Use careful consideration when determining what page to redirect to and put yourself in the user's shoes. So if you were a user who is hoping to find specific content at A U R L and you were taken to a different page, what available content would best meet your original needs? Server errors on the other hand, are a little bit trickier and SEO practitioners should make the developer aware of these errors and instruct him or her to investigate the cause to quickly rectify it, but not much can be done on the front end for these. Finally, if the response code is on the server side, flag these to the client to let the developers know as soon as possible to correct these, Create an additional list for 302 redirects. If there's no current site refresh underway, 302 redirects that don't carry SCO values should be very limited. Ask the developers to make these 301 redirects instead.

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