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Definition HTTP response codes

Whether it’s a 404 error or a 500 error, website publishers and users alike have all been confronted with such messages when trying to consult a website. In addition to the inconvenience caused, these errors also have a negative impact on credibility and natural referencing.

What is HTTP code?

Also known as a status code, an HTTP code provides an indication of the result of a request. These status codes are classified according to the type of message they return. Some of the most common are :

  • 200 OK: this code indicates that everything has been done successfully;
  • 301 Moved permanently and 302 Found to indicate that the URL has been modified permanently or temporarily respectively;
  • 401 Unauthorized for unauthorized access;
  • 403 Forbidden when the client does not have access rights;
  • 404 Not found: by far the most common response. It occurs when the resource has not been found by the server. This can happen, for example, when a plugin has been updated or a URL has been modified;
  • 500 Interval server error and 503 Service unavailable to indicate a server error.

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404 error: what impact will it have on your visibility?

A 404 error indicates that the URL is incorrect or that the page never existed. Either way, neither the user nor the search engine can access the content.

Too many 404 errors can affect a site’s visibility in the SERPs. Search engines, like Google, focus on user experience (UX). An inaccessible page obviously doesn’t help. It is therefore entirely logical that the SEO rating given to a site with too many 404 errors should be downgraded.

However, 404 errors are not inevitable, and can easily be detected using the appropriate tools and plugins. Once a 404 has been detected, there are various methods for correcting it, including a 301 redirect or a modification to the htaccess.

To identify any 404 errors on your site and measure the impact on your natural referencing, contact the team for a diagnosis.

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