homepage Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 50.16.130.188
register, free tools, login, search, subscribe, help, library, announcements, recent posts, open posts,
Subscribe to WebmasterWorld
Home / Forums Index / Google / Google SEO News and Discussion
Forum Library, Charter, Moderators: Robert Charlton & aakk9999 & brotherhood of lan & goodroi

Google SEO News and Discussion Forum

    
Google answers more questions about 404 responses
tedster




msg:3726044
 1:29 am on Aug 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

I've got to begin this with an apology. I've sometimes advised people not place a slow meta-refresh on their 404 page. I felt it was a confusing signal that Google might have problems with. Today's post on the official Google blog [googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com] tells me I was wrong. I apologize to anyone who I've misled.

What about 404s with a 10-second meta refresh?
Yahoo! currently utilizes this method on their 404s. They respond with a 404, but the 404 content also shows:

<meta http-equiv="refresh" content="10;url=http://www.yahoo.com/?****">

We feel this technique is fine because it reduces confusion by giving users 10 seconds to make a new selection, only offering the homepage after 10 seconds without the user's input.

The new post addresses some other questions people may have about using a 404 response code:

  • How do you treat the response code 410 "Gone"?
  • Do you index content or follow links from a page with a 404 response code?
  • Should I 301-redirect misspelled 404s to the correct URL?

 

tedster




msg:3726145
 4:50 am on Aug 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

Here's a quick tip from the article:

...if you notice that the Crawl Errors of Webmaster Tools shows a 404 for a misspelled version of your URL, feel free to 301 the misspelled version of the URL to the correct version.

activeco




msg:3726372
 2:43 pm on Aug 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

...if you notice that the Crawl Errors of Webmaster Tools shows a 404 for a misspelled version of your URL, feel free to 301 the misspelled version of the URL to the correct version.

So, we have to correct their paranoid algorithm?

pageoneresults




msg:3726378
 2:50 pm on Aug 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

So, we have to correct their paranoid algorithm?

Ya, it might be best to keep up with the technology of their crawlers. ;)

I think it is great that they are making these recommendations. I've never used the meta refresh element and I'm not sure why. Can we discuss the pros vs cons of that setup? Why would I want to have that as part of my 404 routine?

I've sometimes advised people not place a slow meta-refresh on their 404 page.

tedster, I'm not too certain an apology is needed. I'd continue to recommend that practice. There may be other challenges with meta refresh, not just from a Google perspective. That element has been used and abused too much and I do believe there are other things to be concerned about besides Google. ;)

How do you treat the response code 410 "Gone"?
Just like a 404.

Why? You're big enough now to do the right thing. They are two distinctly differently Status Codes. Why treat them the same? I think we are responsible enough to serve a 410 when "we know" a page is Gone and we don't want your bots requesting it 3 years later because of an external link reference that is rotting somewhere.

10.4.5 404 Not Found
The server has not found anything matching the Request-URI. No indication is given of whether the condition is temporary or permanent. The 410 (Gone) status code SHOULD be used if the server knows, through some internally configurable mechanism, that an old resource is permanently unavailable and has no forwarding address. This status code is commonly used when the server does not wish to reveal exactly why the request has been refused, or when no other response is applicable.

10.4.11 410 Gone
The requested resource is no longer available at the server and no forwarding address is known. This condition is expected to be considered permanent. Clients with link editing capabilities SHOULD delete references to the Request-URI after user approval. If the server does not know, or has no facility to determine, whether or not the condition is permanent, the status code 404 (Not Found) SHOULD be used instead. This response is cacheable unless indicated otherwise.

Global Options:
 top home search open messages active posts  
 

Home / Forums Index / Google / Google SEO News and Discussion
rss feed

All trademarks and copyrights held by respective owners. Member comments are owned by the poster.
Home ¦ Free Tools ¦ Terms of Service ¦ Privacy Policy ¦ Report Problem ¦ About ¦ Library ¦ Newsletter
WebmasterWorld is a Developer Shed Community owned by Jim Boykin.
© Webmaster World 1996-2014 all rights reserved