What are HTTP Status Codes?

When a visitor enters a URL or chooses a page on the Search Engine Results Pages, the browser would call his buddy the server and say, “Hey, would you mind showing me this info? ” 

The server of the website will respond in a number of ways, generally known as answer codes. These answers contain a 3-digit code that reminds us of the state of the requested page at the time of the query.

In one sentence, the HTTP Status Code is the code that the website server sends back to the user’s browser when the page is accessed. 

This answer can be “OK, here you go” or indicate any problems that either prohibit the user from accessing the page or interrupt the loading of the page. Let’s take a closer look at them.

How to Identify a Response Code?

HTTP answer codes would often begin with numbers from 1 to 5, initially introduced as 1xx, 2xx, 3xx, 4xx and 5xx. Each number set will be part of the server answer (basically, a general issue) and will be more specific based on the numbers following the first digit.

You’ve already come across a handful of them when surfing around. What’s about the most hated 404 not found? Or the terrifying 500 Internal Server Error? Now you know where they’re coming from, let’s figure out what they really say.

Most Important HTTP Status Codes for SEO

You’ve already already guessed it, but actually, the HTTP status codes have an effect on SEO. It’s not enough enough to know which ones show on the website; a successful SEO specialist should be able to spot them before Google or any other bot crawls. Most notably, the SEO professional should be able to correct any mistakes on the website in order to:

Provide the optimal browsing experience for consumers, minimizing annoyance with non-existent sites or lengthy wait times. 

Present an optimized search engine page, maintaining an optimum crawl budget so as not to lose time and obtain better attention, leading to consistent rankings! 

These are the types of status codes that are important for the SEO strategy.

What Does Status Code 200 Mean?

Don’t worry, this is the safest thing you can do! This coding means that the page is shown accurately, without any server-related problems. Note that according to the Google rules, all pages connected to your website will have to return a code of 200, which means that everything is OK.

HTTP Status code 301

Any code that begins with 3xx refers to a redirected page. The 301 answer code indicates that the website is permanently routed. Normally, you will see more sites that return this sort of redirect, and as you redirect it to the old page, you advise the search engines to follow the current one, and the previous one will no longer be shown.

HTTP Status code 302

If you have HTTP code 302 redirects, you’ll have to make sure that they make sense, since they mean a temporary redirect and the new website will not be taken into account by the search engines, as they believe that the webmaster will switch back to the original version once the website has been redefined. This isn’t ideal for SEO, so be sure to look at them closely.

What is Error Code 400?

There are two types of status codes that start with 4xx:

HTTP Status code 404 Not found: these are sites that no longer exist or are inoperative but still collect connections, which is why users and search engines have found them. 

So if you’re never going to patch these pages, you’re going to give them a 410.

What is a 503 Error?

HTTP Status code 503 means that the server is now unable to accommodate the request due to temporary repair or overloading, so the page will be back shortly. In this scenario, the server is out of order when the changes are being made and they need to be shut down for a bit. 

With Status Code 503, Google knows that there is a temporary error and that the website will be loaded later. The 503 error is not a major problem for this cause.

How to Fix HTTP Status Codes?

When you’ve made a list of all the mistakes, try to explain why they occurred on such particular sites. They may be the product of an action taken by another team or the result of an SEO approach that was not well prepared. Wherever the mistake comes from, you’re going to have to find a way to correct it, here are few tips.

Implement a custom 404 page with a corporate image and some links back to the key categories or homepage: this way, you’ll avoid your guests visiting your website. 

Generally, you don’t want users to experience a 404, so consider submitting links to sites that do exist!

Assign a 301 redirect to the 302 if it is not to be deemed temporary. 

Add a 410 to the sites that Google isn’t meant to find, but look out! It’s a big action. Most of them would be orphaned sites, but make sure they don’t get any related connections. 

There are not many things SEO Professional can do when it comes to server bugs, so get in touch with the developers to fix them.

Using the SEO Crawler to easily detect site errors and minimize the effect on SERPs. All webmaster must recognize all status codes, so the use of a very detailed tool helps even the least skilled website owner. 
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