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Advise On 404 Errors And Gwt


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6 replies to this topic

#1 UweKeim

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Posted 13 July 2011 - 07:09 AM

We are running a website that provides users a "Fire and forget" place to upload large files and get short links for downloading them again this is the site, if I'm allowed to link to). You're not smile.gif

All files expire after some time (e.g. 30 days). After this time the file is not downloadable anymore and a 404 error is being shown to the users ("Your file is not available any more because it has expired").

Now I'm experiencing an increasing number of "404 crawl errors" in Google Webmaster Tools regarding those files.

My questions are:

- I want to reduce these numbers, since I think this is bad for the SEO of my site. Is this correct?
- If yes, how would you handle this?

I think 404 is the correct HTTP return code, on the other hand, over time my 404 GWT list will get longer and longer.

Any hints on this?

Edited by chrishirst, 13 July 2011 - 07:57 AM.


#2 chrishirst

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Posted 13 July 2011 - 08:00 AM

QUOTE
since I think this is bad for the SEO of my site
It's not.
QUOTE
Is this correct?
so no it isn't.



#3 chrishirst

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Posted 13 July 2011 - 09:08 AM

http://googlewebmast...rt-my-site.html

#4 UweKeim

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Posted 13 July 2011 - 09:16 AM

Thanks you very much, Chris!

One addition. The article you are linking to also says

QUOTE
"If some URLs on your site 404, this fact alone does not hurt you or count against you in Google’s search results."


I still worry about the "some". Over time, our site will have 99% of all URLs being 404 (Since all files are deleted sooner or later).

Still safe to ignore?

#5 Jill

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Posted 13 July 2011 - 09:27 AM

Is there some similar or equivalent file you can 301 redirect them to instead?

#6 UweKeim

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Posted 13 July 2011 - 09:46 AM

Thanks, Jill.

All files are user-uploaded files (compare our Zeta Uploader to e.g. YouSendIt). So the only thing I can imagine of is to send the user to a page "The file is not present anymore" with a 200 HTTP code.

But then, these would be Soft 404 errors, I guess?

Seems that I'm doomed wink1.gif

#7 chrishirst

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Posted 13 July 2011 - 09:57 AM

QUOTE(Jill @ Jul 13 2011, 03:27 PM) View Post
Is there some similar or equivalent file you can 301 redirect them to instead?


I'd agree there because that's the quickest way to get Google to stop requesting the "missing" files. "404ed" URIs hang about for many many months in the index if there are any links pointing to them.





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