404 crawl errors are something you normally can’t avoid. if your site is generating money with a competitive niche. Increasing 404 error hits and regular hits at 404 pages would decrease your rank in Search Engine. Also this task they should add to their WordPress Website Maintenance list and surely everyone should check the 404 crawl error in every two weeks. So without panic, this situation should be handled.
1. First, we have to know what is 404 crawl errors.
We know Google took records every page and contents of our websites when we publish them and index them in Google. When a site is indexed in Google, Google bot comes to the site regularly and check the site’s links and update the status of them. If any links are missing from the past record then 404 crawl errors occurred. If the errors are not solved and links are not fixed Google rank goes down.
2. Second, we have to find the reason for a 404 crawl error.
If you check with Google Webmaster tool. There’s a link which is shown with my given image you can check 404 crawl errors list regularly. Every SEO expert does it.
Ok now if you see errors in the image shown below, you can notice Google provides the URL or URLs list of 404 errors. From which you can easily detect the causes of the errors.
Such as Google webmaster is showing a link which is not made or created by you. That’s terrible.
I have worked with some clients those never knew about some pages which are inserted their site by hackers. Yes, Hackers does that to spoil your rank against their sites in Google. First, they index some fake links silently and remove them. Doing after that they leave the site, Google bot try to fetch them and got 404 errors.
Also, I have seen that site was hacked and malware script was removed. After that, the site is giving 404 crawl errors. This reason is understood easily. When the site was hacked they (hackers) inserted some pages or links and Google also indexed them at that time. But after removing the virus Google bot now not getting those links live. So the result is 404 error.
These two causes I got frequently from my Clients. Otherside I saw they indexed some pages and later deleted and got 404 errors.
There are few more causes to make 404 errors. I am giving a short list.
- 404 errors caused by faulty links from other websites: Backlinks your site may be had it before and now it is removed from the hosted website.
- 404 errors caused by faulty internal links: You may have few internal links and now missing can cause 404 errors.
- 404 errors caused by sitemap entries: Your sitemap had some links now because of some fault bots are not being able to reach them or sitemap itself has some problems.
There are few many but mentioned above are the most common reasons to get errors.
3. Now How to fix 404 errors?
If you know the reasons of faulty links you can easily fix them. So most important part is to find the reason.
If the links and pages are available but Google bot is still showing the 404 errors then only by fixing the links will help you to solve the errors.
But if you see the links are not available now and should be removed from your index list you have to remove them manually from google webmaster tool and redirect those pages to your home page or other pages.
Yes, these two steps are mainly the basic way to solve these errors.
First, Please find the URL problems. if you see these links are not related to your site or no longer available on your site, then you have to submit that URL to google webmaster to remove from their records.
After that for future errors just redirect the pages to other pages, Mainly everyone redirects to the home page.
For redirection, you can use 404 to 301 plugin or redirection plugin in WordPress.
So in future, all 404 links will be redirected to other pages and removing the links won’t give the Google bot the records to visit them again.
Simple as that. But not solving the errors can cost your site’s rank in Google. Please apply the solution and let me know. If you need any help just let me know.