How To Deal With 404 Error Pages
This is a Guest Post by Matthew Tennison
404 Pages are something that we all come across.
If you are searching for very important info and you face the dreaded ‘Error 404-We cannot find your file’ message, then you can get very mad.
However, 404 error pages are annoying for the webmasters too. If they change from one script to another that has a complete different link structure, then it is very annoying; as you have all your pages in Google and other Search Engines. You used to rank high in Google but now you have to start from scratch.
If you come across a 404 page, then it should have an email somewhere on the page. You should consider emailing the webmaster and tell him that a link is broken. He will often then, after reading your email, redirect the traffic to his new page with the same content, if it is due to changing scripts.
If there is some info you need and you get a 404, follow the link to the homepage -if they have one- and search for that post on the blog itself. This is assuming that its a blog. If not, then search around and try to find that bit of info.
For webmasters, 404’s can help get some extra money, but they are not very good for traffic; as people won’t recommend 404 pages to friends… etc! When designing a 404, try to make it a bit funny and at least put an email on the page. By funny I mean put a funny saying like: ‘How did you get here? I thought we cornered it off!’
Yeah bad example… I know… But think of something impressive that makes people laugh….. Since reports show that including an email address simply makes people 30% happier than if they had found the content they were looking for!