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  1. #1
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
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    January 18th, 2005
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    Boston
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    404 pages
    Arrgghh it's been so long since I've had to do this, I can't remember what is what.

    What is the proper way to handle adding a 404 page? Is a noindex,nofollow meta tag sufficient to avoid "issues" with search engines?
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  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador newestuser's Avatar
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    February 14th, 2007
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    505
    i usually set my 404's to 301 redirect to my homepage.

  3. #3
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Winter Park, FL
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    6,930
    I use htaccess or the hosting company's CPanel 404 handler to redirect all 404 errors to a 404 page I've built.

    Here's an article that's similar:
    http://www.devarticles.com/c/a/Apach...s-With-Apache/

    On my 404 page (that they get redirected to), I let them know they had a 404 error, have tried to reach a non-existent page and I provide them links to key pages (like home, main tools, etc) plus I use an include to insert my site's sitemap below that.

    Basically, I want them to know there was an error and make it easy for them to find what they're looking for.

    Some seo bots (MSN for sure) will throw random names at your server and see how you handle 404 errors, where having a well thought out plan will aid your seo (it's a sign of site quality and webmaster thoroughness).

  4. #4
    Member
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    December 6th, 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by newestuser
    i usually set my 404's to 301 redirect to my homepage.
    From an SEO point of view - don't do this. 404 things that don't exist, and 301 things that have moved or you want to transfer their link love.

    oziman

  5. #5
    Grandma broke her coccyx! Uncle Rico's Avatar
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    May 8th, 2007
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    I had read somewhere that you shouldn't include the full url if your are redirecting to a custom error page. It's better to start with the for-slash and then the custom page name. Yes? No?

    Code:
    ErrorDocument 401 /error.php
    ErrorDocument 403 /error.php
    ErrorDocument 404 /error.php
    ErrorDocument 500 /error.php

  6. #6
    Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeymourButts
    I had read somewhere that you shouldn't include the full url if your are redirecting to a custom error page. It's better to start with the for-slash and then the custom page name. Yes? No?

    Code:
    ErrorDocument 401 /error.php
    ErrorDocument 403 /error.php
    ErrorDocument 404 /error.php
    ErrorDocument 500 /error.php
    If your .htaccess is in the root directory of the site, that's fine.

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