View Full Version : Custom 404 Error Pages
06-13-2007, 11:09 AM
Are Custom 404 Error Pages really that bad in terms of search crawlers? I've been using them but read today that they are bad. What's up with that?
06-13-2007, 11:44 AM
I think what they're trying to say is that an improper custom 404 error page is bad for search crawlers.
As long as the proper 404 error code is being used in the header response to the search engines, you should be ok. Having a site visitor land on your custom 404 error page is a better experience for them, so the search engines shouldn't penalize you for using one.
Google's Webmaster Tools area will clearly tell you if you're using an invalid custom 404 error page though - they won't allow you to validate/authenticate your website if you have it configured improperly - at least from my experience.
06-13-2007, 10:54 PM
For custom 404 Error pages, it is best to use them for advertising your products. It has some good results for me. Or you can use it for subscription to your Mailing List. Proper use of the 404 error pages should be okay as I do not think the search engines will penalize you.
06-17-2007, 09:48 PM
Would someone mind telling me if I'm using them properly at the following websites? (Please just make up something after the .com or .net to force the error)
Grace-Centered Magazine -- Bible Studies, Devotionals, Movie Reviews and News for Christians (http://www.gracecentered.com)
Marriage Enrichment Ministry: Resources to Strengthen Marriage and Family Relationships. (http://www.familydynamics.net)
Would you say those are set up to where Google sees them as proper?
06-18-2007, 01:12 AM
Yes, both sites are kicking up the proper 404 Status code
06-18-2007, 01:18 AM
If you add this meta tag in your error pages
<meta name="robots" content="noindex,follow">
you do not need to worry at all. :)