404 redirect errors on any website can be rather annoying, particularly if you are a user who is trying to access a particular page. However, from the point of view of Search Engine Optimization the negative effects of 404 errors tend to go way beyond mere annoyance. Should a web page that is on your website return a 404 error, it will likely not be indexed by search engines, including Google. This, in turn, will cause that page to lose it’s rank, which is something that all bloggers and website owners wish to avoid.
What are 404 redirect errors?
The 404 redirect protocol is used in computing to indicate that though a server at the address that was indicated was available, the resources that were expected to be at the address could not be located.
What triggers 404 redirect errors?
This is a question that we have already answered in the above definition of 404 redirect errors. Most of the time, 404 errors are triggered by the fact that the sought after resources could not be located at the given address. There are a number of things that could trigger 404 redirect errors;
- You have changed the URL for a particular post and have neglected to add a redirect
- The post that is being looked for has been deleted. Perhaps you have created a newer article.
- You have moved your website from one web host to the other
How to get rid of 404 redirect errors in WordPress
If you run a big enough website, most of the time you won’t even be aware that some of your pages are returning 404 errors. This can have negative effects on your SEO, as already mentioned. So, how do you get rid of 404 redirect errors in WordPress?
Permanently get rid of 404 errors with the Redirection Plugin
One way through which you can permanently get rid of 404 errors on your website is by installing the Redirection plugin. Redirection is, in our view, an absolute must have plugin for all bloggers out there.
You can download and install the redirection plugin through the Plugins section of your website.
What does Redirection Do?
The good thing about redirection is that not only does it allow you to manually add redirects that prevent 404 errors on your site, but it also automatically setsup redirects whenever a URL on your site is changed.
Redirection is, therefore, something that you will want to have should you be in the habit of changing URLs on your website. The great thing about the redirection is that not only does it point visitors to the correct locations for the resources that they are looking for, but it also tells search engines that a particular page or post has been moved to another location.
This is important in that it prevents your site from incurring penalties from Search Engines such as Google and Yahoo, something that would happen as a result of having too may 404 errors.