All Collections
Understanding Status Codes in SEO
Understanding Status Codes in SEO

Understand the SEO impact of HTTP status codes like 200, 301, 404 with Oncrawl and the best practices involving them.

Updated over a week ago

Our Data

HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol) or response status codes refer to requests to a web server made by search engines or visitors on a website.

These codes are always represented by three numbers beginning with or 5.

This code indicates the status of a web element.

From 100s to 500s, status codes are split within the following categories:

  • 100s: informational. The request has been received and the process is going on.

  • 200s: success: the request has been received and works well.

  • 300s: redirect: the request has been received but needs a extra step to be completed.

  • 400s: client error: the request has been asked by a client but the destination page is not correct.

  • 500s: server error: the request asked by the client was correct but the server failed to deliver it.

And then, even if a lot of different HTTP status codes can occur, not all of them impact negatively your SEO.

Oncrawl delivers a clear report of your status code performances.

If you click on the 404 errors for instance, you will see which specific URLs are concerned.

Status codes that impact your SEO

200 OK

The request has been successful, which mean everything is normal.

301 Moved Permanently

The requested page has been assigned a new permanent URL so it means any reference to this source should use a returned URL.

This redirection is used when an URL needs to redirect to another.

302 Found

This status code means that the server is responding to a request with a page from a different location while the requester keeps using the original location for future request.

In clear, this process is not optimal because it doesn’t tell in the right way search engines that a page has changed location.

In fact, using this status code obliges search engines to use the redirect as temporary without giving the link juice of 301 redirects.

400 Bad Request

This response status code indicates that the server cannot or will not process the request due to something that is perceived to be a client error (for example, malformed request syntax, invalid request message framing, or deceptive request routing).

404 File Not Found

This status means that the server has not find anything related to the requested URL, which can be permanent or temporary. In most cases, a 404 errors message is displayed by webmasters.

410 Gone

As a permanent condition, the URL requested is not available anymore and no forwarding address is known.

500 Internal Server Error

The HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP) 500 Internal Server Error response code points to an unforeseen issue on the server which stopped it from completing the request.

This response is a general placeholder for various server issues.

Typically, this means the server couldn't identify a more specific 5xx error code to send back. At times, server managers record errors like the 500 code with added specifics about the request to avoid such errors in upcoming instances.

503 Service Unavailable

The request asked cannot be realised because of server issues due to overloading or maintenance.

This status code should be used whenever the server is out of use for a temporary period.

Also, this status code tells search engines to come back later because the page is just out of use for a short amount of time.

Recommended best practices

Prefer a 301 redirect rather than a 302 when redirecting an URL on a site to allow link juice to pass.

Customize the 404 pages with recommended navigational options if visitors meet those pages.

Pages that are in 404 for a long period of time and that contain qualitative links should be convert into 301 redirect to other web pages.

Did this answer your question?