I have seen this done over and over but what is the best way to set it up?
I want to display a 404 to the search engines when a page is not found but also want to 301 the visitors back to the root of the site without them seeing any 404 error page.
Right now I have it a custom 404 page. I want to remove this page and just set it so my main page is also the landing page after a 404 error.
I tried a html 301 on the 404 error page but the visitor could see the 404 page pop for a sec before it changed.
Second question... although many people do this is, is it the best thing to do? Would the search engines see it as duplicate content due to they may interpret it as a mirrored index page as a 404 page?