The Google Search Console reason we’ll look at for pages not being indexed on Google is 404 not found – Google has noticed that pages in your sitemap give a 404 error, because the page doesn’t exist.
When Google tried to index these pages (usually from a link elsewhere) the page was not there.
It may have been renamed, deleted, or the original link may be incorrect.
This often happens when you launch a new website, change the URL structure of your website, or migrate to a new domain (please contact me before doing any of these things, it really will save you so much hassle down the line).
How can I fix 404 not found?
- If the page listed has a newer URL, the best thing to do is set up a 301 redirect from the old URL to the new one. If you’re using WordPress, you can use a 301 redirect plugin. I use Simple 301 Redirects. If you use another website system, check the help files for ‘redirects’, or drop me a line and I’ll see if I can help.
- If the page has been deleted and there is no obvious place to redirect it to, you can either redirect to you home page, or simply wait. Google will check occasionally to see if the page has a new redirect or is still showing a 404 error, and eventually just stop checking altogether. The annoying ‘error’ within GSC will stay there for a while though.
- If the link to the page has a typo or is incorrect, you’ll need to find out where the original link is and fix it.If it’s a link from within your site, there are a few ways to do this, but the easiest for WordPress is a broken link checker. If your site is on a different system, then this Dead Link Checker website will help.
If it is a link from an external site then putting the broken link into the free Ahref’s Broken Link Checker will tell you where the link is from and you can contact the relevant site owner to get it fixed.
Once you have fixed any broken links, click on ‘Validate’ within this section in Google Search Console so that Google can make sure it’s sorted out.
Questions? You know where I am.
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