Find 404 errors that are harming your site's indexing and fix them with this tutorial.

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What is a 404 error?

 A 404 Not Found error message is given whenever users can't find your webpage—either because you deleted the page, renamed the page without creating a 301 redirect, or submitted a typo in a link. 

Before you start fixing 404 errors, you should determine whether the error is worth fixing. Most 404 errors aren't worth fixing because 404s don't harm your site's indexing or ranking. If the 404 error is from an active URL, the error is worth fixing. If you intended to delete the page or it never existed on your site, you can safely ignore the 404 error. -Read More

Finding 404 errors with Google Search Console

What is Google Search Console?

Google Search Console (formerly known as Google Webmaster Tools) is a free service offered by Google that helps you monitor, maintain, and troubleshoot your site's presence in Google Search results. Search Console offers tools and reports that allow you to fix 404 errors and other indexing problems. -Read More

Using Google Search Console's Index Coverage report to identify 404 errors

  1. Log in to Google Search Console.
  2. On the left dashboard, click Index coverage. This displays the Index Coverage report for your website. 
  3. Click the Error tab. 

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    This report shows the URLs in your website that Google was unable to index due to error. The Status tab beneath the summary report lists all of the errors for each page and the reason the errors occurred. A 404 error displays the message "Submitted URL not found (404)."
  4. Click the 404 error on the Status tab. 
  5. On the next page, scroll down to the Examples tab and click on the link for the affected URL. 

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  6. Under the Page details dashboard to the right, click FETCH AS GOOGLE

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The Fetch as Google page displays greater detail about how your faulty URLs appear to Google when the fetch request is made.

If the Status column for the URL says UnreachableError, or Not found, then the 404 error is related to the URL setup on your server and needs to be addressed in the back-end of your website. 

Fixing 404 errors in WSM

You can fix 404 errors in Web Shop Manager by adding 301 redirects to send web traffic to the correct URL.

To prevent 404 errors, make sure that when you delete a page, news article, product, brand, etc., you redirect the deleted URL to an alternative page where that information can be found. 

When to ignore 404 errors 

If you're removing content that will not be replaced, then the old URL should return a 404 Not Found or 410 Gone error message. Google treats both of these messages the same, and neither will harm your site's indexing or ranking.