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404 not found followed by 30x redirect OK to do?

10:33 pm on Apr 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I ussually just display my 404 custom error page

But there are a couple of scenarios where I want to notify seach engines the page is not found "404" but I then want to redirect the visitor to a category page.

Is this ok to do? or bad for SEO? or just plain bad?

1:06 am on Apr 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member g1smd is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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A URL returns 404 as not found, or sends a redirect (301 or 302) to tell the visitor that the content has moved.

You can't send a 301 redirect after sending "404" in the header. That's not possible. The HTTP transaction is finished when the 404 is sent. Send just one or the other of the codes.

Just provide the right error message and supporting internal navigation right there on the 404 error page and let the visitor click one.