We all read blog posts to know more about certain topics to which the reader is interested and getting deep into it. Mostly everyone who reads a post will definitely click on the link which is visible on the blog in order to get more information about the topic. But we have seen many blogs have dead links. Dead links are the ones who don’t have a page which is existing.
While clicking on certain links, we have seen the mind irritating messages like “Oops, Page Not Found” or “404 error” or “Sorry, the Page you are looking for has no existence” etc. The inner meaning of these messages are the link you have clicked is not existing. That is why it is called as dead links. What will you do when you see a 404 error page on a website? This is the same case for you when visitors land on non-existing urls on your Blog.
During these situations, readers may not be patient to find out the error and more errors like this will lead to have a bad impression about your blog. It may affect your future blogs too. A reader who is a common man, while facing this situation will definitely avoid your blog and will continue to search for other blogs of the same topic which doesn’t have an error links. There is only a 1% chance that reader may go to your home page and search for the same.
Most probably, the reader will feel bad impression about your blog and mostly your blog will be neglected or avoided from their thoughts even in the future. So it is very important for the blogger to create a blog with live links which includes the detailed information about the topic which will be more useful for the reader.
Why do 404 Error Page occurs?
While clicking on certain links, your blog may return a 404 response error code when the actual url is not existing. That means the requested url may not be found by a server. These types of urls or links are called broken links or dead links. The links become dead by many situations explained below.
- When somebody links back to non-existing urls: By mistake there are chances of linking to wrong urls which are not existing. This may also lead to 404 errors
- When you rename a post or page url: For SEO purposes, we may need to change the name of the blog post. This will mostly be done after publishing of posts. And also there may be a chance of changing or altering the permalink structure of your blog posts. But unfortunately, we may have already included these urls in other blog posts. And while changing the post name and permalink structure, the other posts which uses this link cannot find out the link and shows a 404 error.
- Error occurs when you delete a blog post or page: There are situations that you are not satisfied with your blog and have rewritten in another page. You may make your unsatisfied blog to “Draft” or may “Move to Trash”. This may lead to 404 errors to occur when these drafted urls may be used in some other blogs and when clicked, there is no such page exists.
- 404 Errors may also occur when existing pages are moved: Let your blog posts are in one location. And now you want to change that to some other location. During this situation also, you may get an error message. It is because, the url you provided was the old location and the page is not existing in that location. So this can also cause 404 errors in blog posts.
How to find out broken links within no time:
It is not practical to check each and every blog posts which have already posted that they contain broken links or not. For this purpose, you have to first login to “Webmaster tools”. There you will be seeing a section called “Crawls”. By clicking on crawls you will be able to find out the list of urls which are not working. Sometimes there are situations that you know a url which is not working but it is not listed in the crawls list. The reason for this is that the post was deleted for some or the other reason. That is the reason behind the not displaying of certain urls in the crawls list. Google’s web crawling bot which is sometimes called as spiders is the one who brings the 404 urls in front of you within a short span of time. Another reason for not displaying of urls in the crawls list is that you may linked one of your blog post with misspelled url or sometimes they may linked to a non-existing url by mistake.
How to Redirect a 404 Error link to home page
The 404 error page obtained while clicking on a dead link is not interesting and this makes readers to search back for other blogs. So it will be quite interesting if you made them land on the home page. But directly redirecting a reader to home page also creates bad impression about your blog. It is better to customize the 404 page with useful links on it.
How to customize 404 page:
Inside the Blogger, there is an option called “custom page not found” in search preferences. Using html you can create your own customized 404 page in a descent way to handle 404 pages. This may include “error message” along with Home page button, or related articles, search box to search and locate the correct page, etc.
Redirection of 404 to home page in Blogger:
Instead of making the readers to land on a 404 error page, you can redirect them instead to the home page or any other pages as suggested above. But do not make redirection blindly to the home page without making the reader understand about the issue. There is no mistake in mentioning them about the actual issue and then automatically redirects within a few seconds.
The following are the steps to be followed for redirecting an error page to a home page in Blogger:
Step 1: Login to your Blogger and you will reach in the Dashboard.
Step 2: You will see a settings option within the dashboard. Click on it.
Step 3: Under settings, click on the Search Preferences. There you will find errors and redirections.
Step 4: Edit the “Custom page not found” option. Here you can include the customized error message which you like to notify your readers.
Step 5: Now copy the code given below:
Sorry! The page you are looking for in this website does not exist. You will be redirected to home page now. Thank You…
Step 6: Paste the above code in the empty space provided there. And click on the save button for saving the changes.
Note: “You will be redirected to the home page shortly” is the message which will be displayed to the readers. This can be changed according to your wish. The “/” is used to recognize that it is a url. Here you can provide the path along with “href” and “/” in the “Location.pathname=” indicated in the code above. A numeric value 5000 is used here to indicate the delay in milliseconds to redirect the error page to home page. This value can be changed accordingly. Here when the user clicks on the non-existing url, the blog will show the customized error page which we have created. There the reader can understand the issue and after 5000 milliseconds the page will be redirected to the home page.