Fixing HTTP Status Code Errors for Better SEO

June 13, 2024
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HTTP status code errors can significantly impact your website’s SEO and overall performance. When a search engine crawls your site and encounters these errors, it can lead to decreased rankings and a poor user experience. Understanding what these codes mean and how to fix them is crucial for maintaining a healthy website that ranks well in search results.

Understanding Common HTTP Status Codes and Their Impact on SEO

Understanding HTTP status codes is vital for diagnosing web issues and maintaining SEO health. These codes are server responses that indicate whether a web request was successful or if an error occurred. Some codes are more significant than others in terms of SEO.

For instance, the 404 Not Found error occurs when a server cannot locate the requested page. Search engines view these errors negatively, leading to a drop in rankings as they indicate broken links and missing content. The 500 Internal Server Error signifies a generic server issue, preventing users and search engines from accessing the site, which can also harm SEO. On the other hand, the 301 Moved Permanently status code is beneficial when used correctly. It tells search engines that a page has permanently moved, allowing them to transfer link equity to the new URL, preserving its ranking.

Other important status codes include the 302 Found, signaling a temporary move, which can be misleading if used incorrectly. The 200 OK status code is ideal, confirming that the server successfully processed the request. By understanding these codes, we can better manage the site's health and ensure it's optimized for search engines.

Identifying and Diagnosing HTTP Status Code Errors

Identifying and diagnosing HTTP status code errors is the first step toward resolving them. We start by using tools designed to crawl and check for these errors. Google Search Console is a reliable resource that can identify various status code issues affecting our site. This tool provides detailed reports on crawl errors, including URLs affected by 404, 500, and other errors.

Another approach involves using third-party crawling tools. These tools meticulously scan our site and generate comprehensive reports highlighting the errors encountered. By examining these reports, we can pinpoint specific URLs with issues and understand their severity. Additionally, web server logs provide valuable insights. These logs contain records of all server requests, enabling us to track down the exact moment and reason an error occurred.

Manual checks also play a crucial role. We can inspect specific pages in a browser to see how they load and identify errors visually. By combining automated tools and manual inspections, we ensure a thorough diagnosis of status code errors affecting our site. With these diagnostics, we can then move on to fixing the identified problems and improving our overall SEO performance.

Effective Methods for Fixing HTTP Status Code Errors

Fixing HTTP status code errors is crucial for improving website performance and SEO. The approach varies depending on the type of error encountered. For 404 Not Found errors, the simplest fix is to redirect the broken link to a relevant, functional page using a 301 redirect. This preserves the link juice and guides users to related content. If the content no longer exists and has no replacement, consider creating a custom 404 page. This helps retain users by offering navigation options and search functionality.

For 500 Internal Server Errors, the resolution may require more technical steps. Start by checking server logs to identify the underlying issue. Common causes include server overload, incorrect file permissions, or faulty code. Fixing these might involve tweaking server configurations, increasing server resources, or debugging and updating the website’s code. Maintaining a reliable host and regularly monitoring server performance can also mitigate these errors.

301 and 302 redirects can also run into issues if used incorrectly. Ensure that 301 redirects are only used for permanent changes and 302 for temporary ones. Misusing redirects can confuse search engines and users, diminishing SEO benefits. Tools and plugins for content management systems can simplify the implementation of these redirects. By addressing these problems promptly and effectively, we maintain our site's integrity and enhance its search engine rankings.

Best Practices for Preventing Future HTTP Status Code Errors

Preventing HTTP status code errors requires a proactive approach. Regular website audits are a key practice. These audits help identify potential issues before they impact users and search engines. Schedule audits to check for broken links, outdated content, and server issues. Keeping the site structure well-organized and removing any dead or irrelevant pages can drastically reduce 404 errors.

Keeping website software up to date is another preventive measure. This includes everything from the content management system to plugins and themes. Outdated software can lead to compatibility issues and security vulnerabilities, resulting in various status code errors. Regularly update all components and ensure they are compatible with each other.

Another effective practice is monitoring server performance. Use tools to track server response times and detect issues early. Implementing a robust backup system ensures that if problems do arise, you can quickly restore the site to a previous, error-free state. By following these best practices, we can create a more resilient website that performs well in search rankings and provides a smooth experience for users.


Managing HTTP status code errors is essential for maintaining a healthy website and achieving strong SEO performance. By understanding common errors, diagnosing them accurately, and applying effective fixes, we ensure our site remains accessible and user-friendly. Regular audits and proactive maintenance prevent future issues and preserve our SEO integrity.

At Ranked, we specialize in helping businesses optimize their websites for better search engine performance. If you’re facing HTTP status code errors or want to enhance your SEO strategy, we are here to assist. Reach out to Ranked today and let us help you achieve a seamless, high-ranking website that meets your business goals and keeps your audience engaged with our affordable SEO services.