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301 Redirects With Obscure Url


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#1 tommr

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 12:15 AM

When checking my error logs I Often find some crazy 404 results for my wedding favor site.
I supposed there are many reasons for this, but I wondered if I should be using a 301 redirect for them.

Also, I used to have a directory called /links , this was many years ago but I still get 404 results for the files.
I wanted to put a 301 in place but in some cases no similar directory or file exists.

We do have a page with info on how to link to us but this did not seem like a good target.
I wondered where I should redirect the requests? Home? Site Map?

Any help would be appreciated.

#2 DonnaFontenot

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 09:57 AM

No. LOL, ok, that's the short answer. I don't think you should redirect 404s in any sort of "blanket" way. Sure, if a page now exists at a different url, then by all means, redirect from the old to the new. But in no way should you redirect generic 404s to anything. This can confuse the search engines. Instead, create a custom 404 page, and make sure it actually returns a 404, not a 200 code. On your custom 404 page, include a mini-sitemap, a search box, a message as to why they might be seeing this, etc. Give the user plenty of opportunity to find what they want once they land there, but let them land there. We have a thread about creating good 404 pages that work here: http://www.cre8asite...showtopic=78683

#3 tommr

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 10:44 AM

Thanks for the help.
This is the info from 404 page we are using.
We have the boiler plate navigation on the side of the page.
Posted Image

#4 iamlost

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 03:03 PM

What I recommend is doing an analysis of what happens when the 404 is served:
* does the visitor disappear?
Perhaps a prominent site map link and/or site search box might aid retention.
* does the visitor click a link to elsewhere in site?
Suggest matching requested URL with the subsequent selected site link as might suggest a viable 301.
* etc.

Note: not all requests that generate a 404 are human. SEs, especially Google, have taken to resurrecting or creating from near whole cloth weird and wonderful URIs and sending their bots down the hole to see what might be there. And many nasty bots are simply running through a requests list to see what door(s) you neglected to secure, etc.

Edited by iamlost, 04 January 2012 - 03:05 PM.




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