- 1. What Are HTTP Status Codes?
- 2. Why are HTTP Status Codes Important For SEO?
- 3. What Are The Most Important HTTP Status Codes For SEO?
- 4. How Do We Check for HTTP Status Codes?
- 5. How to Fix HTTP Status Code Errors?
What Are HTTP Status Codes?
In order for servers and users to be able to interact, there needs to be some kind of communication, this communication is done through the use of HTTP status codes. HTTP (HyperText Protocol) are codes that are issued by a web server in response to a user’s requests. In other words, every click on a link or every time a URL is typed into a search engine, these actions need a response and this response is requested by sending out the different codes. HTTP status codes are usually invisible and the request usually goes through to servers and is answered without us even knowing that any kind of communication took place. The only time where we see HTTP status codes is when they are error codes reporting that there is something wrong with the webpage or site that we are trying to reach. While we are only privy to the error codes that are labelled in the 400s and 500s, there are many different HTTP status codes that are important to know and understand, particularly if you are hoping to learn more about SEO and improve on the rankings of your webpages.
What Do Different Ranges Mean in HTTP Status Codes?
There are different ranges between HTTP status codes, from those in the 100s to those in the 500s. Code are separated to ensure that specific types of information are grouped together, making it easier and more comprehensible to understand and register. The following are the different ranges and a brief description of what each of them comprises.
- 1xx – Informative: Status codes that are in the 100s are labelled as ‘Informative’ and that the request you have made to the server is still being processed. A 100s HTTP status code does not mean that there is anything wrong with your request, the server is just supplying you with information with regards to what is being done.
- 2xx – Success: HTTP status codes in the 200s are labelled as ‘successful’, meaning that everything on the page is working exactly as it should be. This means that there are no issues with the structure, content or information on the page and that the directives are working exactly as they should be.
- 3xx – Redirect: There are also an array of HTTP 300 status codes that are used to inform users that the resource they are looking for has been moved. Redirection is incredibly important as it ensures that even when a page or item has been moved, users are still able to find where it is. When it comes to SEO, it is important to never use temporary redirects from pages as this is decreases the quality of the content according to search engine bots and crawlers.
- 4xx – Page fault: The 4xx HTTP status codes are codes that are reporting a page fault. They are there to report that there is an issue with either page or request made. When it comes to SEO, HTTP status codes in the 400s can be detrimental to the quality of your page and if search engine crawlers or bots pick up on any of these codes on a page, they will lower the rankings. It is important to register and fix any of these issues to ensure that a page has a good chance of ranking highly on search engines.
- 5xx – Server error: These HTTP status codes are also there to report errors but these errors are on the server’s end and this makes them harder to solve.
Why are HTTP Status Codes Important For SEO?
The HTTP status codes for SEO copywriting are extremely important and they can influence how search engine crawlers and bots rank and perceive your website. If your website or pages have too many errors and faults, HTTP status codes that are in the 400s and 500s, this will be detrimental to your SEO and the rankings that your page receives from the search engine bots and crawlers. Too many errors will result in your page being seen as low quality and your SEO rankings will therefore be lowered.
While you do not want any error HTTP status codes, low-level HTTP codes, in the 100s and 200s, will not negatively impact your SEO, as they determine that everything on your page is in working order, but they will also not boost rankings either. HTTP codes that range in the 300s are a bit more complicated as these are codes that are responsible for redirecting users to other pages. One of the most important things to ensure that HTTP status codes in the 300s are that you do not create temporary redirects from pages that have moved as this will decrease the SEO of your page and may also impact how advantageous your backlinks are!
SEO and HTTP status codes are incredibly important and they do tend to influence each other. It is vital that when creating your web pages and structuring your content, you take these codes into account and use them to your advantage. Here at Markethinkers, our SEO consulting services can help you to structure your page and content in a way that ensures that the HTTP status codes only improve on rather than negatively affect your SEO.
What Are The Most Important HTTP Status Codes For SEO?
Understanding how and why each of the different HTTP status codes works and why they are displayed can go a long way to ensuring you are able to sustain a well-functioning and well-ranked page. When learning about what an HTTP status code actually is, it is important to learn about what each of the codes stands for, particularly the ones that occur more frequently. The following are just a few of the most relevant and important HTTP status codes to make sure you know and understand.
The HTTP status codes 200 are there are to report that everything on the page is working and functioning well. This code puts forward that the request that is being sent from the user to the server has been sent and is being processed. This code is probably one of the most common codes to receive on a webpage.
301: Moved Permanently
This code is there to report that the resource that is being located has been moved and replaced with a different resource. This move is a permanent one and the page will not be able to direct you to the source you are looking for. This URL redirection will take you to a different resource, one that replaced what you were previously looking to find.
The HTTP status codes 302 is also a displaced code, but one that has been found. Like the previous HTTP user code, this code reports that the resource that is being located has been permanently moved, however, this resource can be found, just not in the location you are looking for it. This code will redirect you to the resource in its new location.
307: Temporary Redirect
This HTTP status code replaces the 302 when the resource has only been temporarily moved to a new URL. Temporary redirects are not good for the SEO of a page and search engine crawlers and bots may perceive the page as one that is low quality because of this status code. It is therefore recommended that temporary redirects are avoided.
The HTTP status codes 401is an error code that is displayed when the targeted resource does not have valid authentication details. When this code is displayed, you may want to check whether you have made a mistake in the spelling of the URL.
When a user is attempting to gain access to a page or resource that they do not have access to, an HTTP status code 403 will be implemented. This banned HTTP status code is commonly shown when a user is attempting to reach a page that requires login details or where passwords are required.
404: Not Found
The 404 HTTP status code is one of the most common types of codes and it is there to notify users that the source could not be found. This means that the resource that is being looked for does not exist and the server does not know that it ever existed. This is commonly seen when a user incorrectly types of URL into a search engine, which would result in looking for a page or site that does not exist. The 404 HTTP status code does not recognise whether the page not being found is a temporary or permanent change.
The 410 HTTP status code reports that whatever the user is looking for has permanently disappeared. This code is similar to the 404 not found status code except for the fact that these codes indicate that the disappearance is known to be permanent.
451: Not Usable for Legal Reasons
This HTTP status code informs users that a specific resource is prohibited and cannot be used due to legal reseasons. If a webpage is being investigated by law enforcement this code may be used.
500: Internal Server Error
The HTTP status codes 500 inform users that there was an error with the server and therefore the file cannot be located. An internal service error could be due to a number of different factors such as the database connection breaking or even faulty plugins and there are several different troubleshooting methods that can be done to attempt to rectify the issue.
503: Service Unavailable
When servers are overwhelmed and are unable to handle the number of users attempting to load the same resources, you may receive an HTTP status codes 503. This error code informs users that the resource they are attempting to load cannot be loaded at this point in time. One of the easiest ways to troubleshoot this issue is to reload the page or wait for the traffic to slow down.
How Do We Check for HTTP Status Codes?
There are many different kinds of tools that can be used to check an HTTP code status. Two of the most popular tools that can be used to do this are search console, developed by Google, and Screaming frog. each of these tools uses different parts of a webpage and different tools to check for the HTTP status codes that may be appearing on your page or website. It is important to be able to determine these different HTTP codes as troubleshooting for a specific one is far easier than attempting to fix codes that you are not even sure are being displayed. The following are just two ways to check for HTTP status codes.
How Can We Check Status Codes with Search Console?
SEO and HTTP status codes walk hand in hand with one another and your codes can be checked and analysed through the Google search console. Google search console is a program that was developed by Google that can help people to understand how their page is performing according to certain criteria, one of which are the status codes. By using this program to analyse your SEO according to a search engine, you can determine whether or not your status codes are negatively or positively affecting your webpage.
How Can We Check HTTP Status Codes Using Screaming Frog?
One of the most effective ways to manage error codes is to quickly identify them and then work on ways that these issues can be rectified. The response code report that is created by Screaming Frog identities issues that will lead to response codes that are likely to negatively impact your website rankings and the ability of search engine crawlers and bots to adequately analyse your data and resources. The Screaming Frog report goes over the content, status code and the status of each response to ensure that you know exactly what HTTP status codes are associated with your page or website.
How to Fix HTTP Status Code Errors?
There are many different types of HTTP user code errors that occur on web pages. The different types of errors range from HTTP status codes400 to 599 in terms of the different ranges and there are many different ways that these errors can be noticed and then subsequently troubleshot. One of the first things to do when you receive an error notice is to read up on what the specific error is and why it is being displayed. When receiving a code within the 400 to 499 range, it is a web browser or client issue and those from 500 to 599 are server issues and may be harder to solve. Having this important information on hand will ensure that the troubleshooting process is easier! If you are not sure why your webpage is not functioning optimally and are still experiencing error codes, it could be best to get in touch with a consulting service like Markethinkers to help fix the issues.
The following are just a few troubleshooting tips to try before contacting a third party:
- The first step that anyone should take when receiving an HTTP error code is to try and refresh the page. This will ensure that the server is again reached and the action is attempted again.
- If reloading the page does not work, users would need to make sure that they have typed in the correct URL. Even just one mistake or the incorrect placement of a letter can lead to an issue with the URL.
- Use tools like Screaming Frog or Search Console to determine exactly what the error codes on your page are. This will ensure that you are able to correctly troubleshoot the issues and directly deal with the error code that is hindering your page.
If you are still having issues and are not really understanding how to troubleshoot and fix the HTTP error codes, it may be best to contact a company like Markethinkers, who have the correct tools and resources to help you deal with issues and HTTP status codes!