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How to treat temporary 404's (problem arising on a redesigned blog)

     
9:06 am on Jun 8, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Hi There,

I have recently come across an issue regarding 404's on a newly redesigned blog.

The new design means that each category homepage can now house more stories than the previous layout. EG: www.mysite.com/category/
As a result of each category page holding more stories, less pages are needed to display all the stories within a category.
What this means is that pagination URL's now 404 EG:

www.mysite.com/category/page12/
www.mysite.com/category/page13/
www.mysite.com/category/page14/

The usual process would be to 301 these URL's, however they will eventually be needed again once there is enough content to warrant these pages.

My thinking is that there types of situations are what 404's are for and that leaving the 404's as is would be the best practice, however I am keen to hear your thoughts on this.

Thanks
10:01 am on June 8, 2016 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member andy_langton is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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Perhaps a 307 - temporary redirect? This should be a stronger signal than a 302 which is increasingly regarded as a 301 with the wrong status code. Don't know how Google handles 307, though, so 302 might be the only option.
12:49 pm on June 8, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Welcome to WebmasterWorld, BillyBurn!

If you decide to redirect, then you would need to monitor number of articles to see when they spread onto these paginated pages and then remove the redirect.

I would imagine that the issue of these pages not being there considers really just for search engine bots - I am not sure how likely is for these paginated pages to get links or are saved in Favourites? It would be perhaps good to check server logs to see if you get any requests to these pages other than from bots.

Personally, I would just leave them 404 with a nice user friendly 404 page.
5:46 pm on June 9, 2016 (gmt 0)

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I agree with aakk on this one. For paginated pages, I would leave them be. Google typically figures out pagination pretty well, so I would let them 404 until they repopulate. I doubt you are seeing many of these as entrance pages from organic anyway, and paginated category pages typically have little by way of authority and external links.
9:00 pm on June 9, 2016 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member tangor is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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404 is actually instructive "page not found" and unless you see a chit load of those in your logs from HUMANS I'd let them ride.

Your custom 404 should reveal "we've had a recent site redesign. To find your desired content please try: " and provide link to top content/category so the user has a chance to find it.
9:32 am on June 10, 2016 (gmt 0)

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joined:June 8, 2016
posts: 6
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That's great, thanks for all your help everybody. Much appreciated!
 

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