HTTP Status Codes
What are HTTP status codes?
When a server responds to the request of a browser, a “response” of a server is an HTTP status code. When someone visits a website using a browser, then the site’s server receives a request from the browser and responds with three-digit-code known as HTTP status code.
Your browser and the server do conversation through these status codes and communicate whether something is wrong or touch-and-go. You can minimize the website’s downtime quickly by identifying site errors if you understand the status code and its usage. Not only that these some of these status codes are used to guide people and search engine access your site. For example, A 301 redirect, is used to inform bots and people about the permanent moving of page to someplace else.
Every three-digit-status code commences with the first digit having a number 1 to 5, it may look like- 1xx or 5xx for specific status code in that range. And every range holds within server response of different class.
Classes of Common status code:
1xxs – Thinking of server along with the request (Informational responses).
2xxs – Browser received expected response from the server, because of successful completion of browser request (Success).
3xxs – Request received but redirected somewhere else because of some kind of (Redirection).
4xxs – An error from the website’s side which appears when a page doesn’t exist(page not found) or the page couldn’t be reached (client errors)
5xxs – A sound request from client side but unable to complete the request by a server (Server errors)
The status codes most important for SEOs
An SEO expert or other website owners should be aware of status code having large impacts on SEO. Picture, the site showing 5xx errors, you are working on. SEO would want to know that it is a server issue. Similar to 4xx errors and others. Recognizing errors will help you recognize the problem(whether deleted pages or changes to URLs) with that you can look into implementing the custom 404 pages or 301 redirects (for sending a visitor to the right place).
These impactful status codes are Valuable and worthwhile to learn for SEO. these status codes are:
HTTP Status Code 200 - OK
A status code defining normal, properly, everyday performing of page. Linked pages act as an amazing path for visitors, bots and link equity. With that, you can chill with the knowledge that everything is in a way it should be.
HTTP Status Code 301 - Permanent Redirect
When one URL needs to be redirected to another permanently, a 301 redirect should be employed. And because of 301 redirects, both visitors and bots will redirect to the new URL.
You can have all those hard-earned links consist of your content by employing 301 redirects.
In spite, Google claimed all 3xx redirects are treated equally, it is not completely true and the favorable redirect is still 301 redirect for permanent page redirects.
HTTP Status Code 302 - Temporary Redirect
Similar to 301 redirects, 302 redirect visitor and bots to next page but link equity is not passed along, that’s why it is not recommended for permanent changes. 301 redirect passes link equity and 302 redirect does not and searches engines will treat 302 redirects as temporary.
HTTP Status Code 404 - Not Found
When browser requests from the server and gets page wasn’t found(which was requested), its HTTP status code. Just have a look, by typing URL that doesn’t exist and have an experience like hitting a brick wall, similar to what your user will face and( if lucky) might wander to another site page with the same information(your page posses).
There are other options, you don’t always redirect pages that return 404 status codes. One general misconception that best practice of SEO is, if page returns a 404 status code then simply just 301 redirect that page to the given domain’s homepage. It’s a bad idea which makes the user fall into confusion whether the page exists or not. Pages having high authority & obvious URL with lots of traffic and if those pages returning 404 codes, you can employ 301 redirects to most related pages possible.
For example, if your page on “ Yeast donut” no longer exists, you can 301 redirect to your “Yeast donut recipe” page.
URL must return 404 on motive, it might be necessary that way pages will not get indexed and crawled repeatedly by search engines.
Commonly 404 error produced by an e-commerce website, when no product to sell. So in that case e-commerce sites can provide the best experience to visitors by creating a custom Ecommerce 404 pages.
HTTP Status Code 410 - Gone
410 Means Page Is Gone! Permanence in 410 is more than 404. It means that the page on the server is no longer there or no forwarding address. When bots and visitors go to that webpage through some link they go to the dead source. Remove links from content going to the dead source.
HTTP Status Code 500 - Internal Server Error
This status code is not about pages missing or not found a problem, it states the server’s problem. Known as classic server error 500 affects your site access. Bots will no longer crawl or index page’s site and human visitors will be lost.
If you don’t want that maintain your site, search engines prefer well-maintained sites.
HTTP Status Code 503 - Service Unavailable
503 states server is not available, it’s a variety of 500 HTTP status code. This code on the page states temporarily overloading or maintenance of the server. Search engines come back to crawl these kinds of pages, as these pages are down temporarily.