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The HTTP Status Codes: A SEO Guide

HTTP Status Codes

Written by Jeremy Earle, JD

September 24, 2022

You may learn more about the various HTTP status codes, what they’re used for, how they affect SEO, and how to identify which codes exist on a website.

Identifying a site’s HTTP Status Codes is a critical part of any SEO audit.

These codes may become complicated and develop into a difficult problem that must be answered before additional chores can be done.

For example, if you put up a page that suddenly vanishes with a 404 not found response code, you would review server logs for faults and figure out what precisely happened to that page.

Any other status codes you encounter when doing an audit will need more research.

There are several distinct sorts of these codes.

  • A status code of 1xx is an informative code.
  • This is a success code.
  • There are 3xx redirection codes.
  • Any codes that fail to load on the client-side, including client error codes, are included in the 4xx group.
  • Codes ending in 5xx are those that can’t be loaded because of a problem on the Server.

1xx Status Indicator Codes (SITC)

These codes have little real-world influence on search engine rankings in most cases.

One hundred per cent – continue.

In general, this protocol signifies that the Server has received the first serving of a request and has not yet denied it in any other way.

Non-SEO Implications:

No real-world use of SEO:

101 – Changing the Protocols

The originating Server of the site understands is willing and able to satisfy the client’s request through the Upgrade header field, as defined by this definition. This is particularly true when the application protocol is utilized on the same connection.

Non-SEO Implications:

No real-world use of SEO:

Amount of time spent on 102 – Processing

When the Server accepts the client’s request but has not yet finished it, this response code informs the client that they may proceed with the transaction.

Non-SEO Implications:

No real-world use of SEO:

Status Codes for Client Satisfaction: Two Thousand and One

This code indicates that a request to the Server was successful. Most of this is only viewable from the server-side. Visitors will never encounter this status code in the wild.

Implications for Search Engine Optimization (SEO): If a page is loading normally, there is no need to take any action (such as during the execution of a content audit, for example).

You don’t have to change much to a page if you merely check for a status code of 200 OK in the actual world of SEO. Other apps may be necessary while doing a content audit, for example.

That, however, is beyond the subject of this essay, and you should already know whether or not you will require a content audit based on the first review of your site.

How to Use Screaming Frog to Find All 2xx Success Codes on a Site

There are two methods to discover 2xx HTTP success codes in Screaming Frog: via the GUI and through the bulk export option.

Method 1 – Using the GUI

1.Using the parameters that you are most comfortable with, crawl your website.

  1. After the crawl, all of your site URLs will be shown.

3.Look for the Status Code column. You may view all of the URLs that have been deemed safe and are 2xx based here.

Method 2 – Exporting Data in Large Quantities

  1. Crawl your site using the parameters you are most comfortable with. 2. 3. 4.
  2. Select Bulk Export.
  3. Select Response Codes from the dropdown list.

4.Then, click on the 2xx Success Links

201 – Created

If you see this code, it means that the Server’s request was met, and one or more resources were generated as a consequence.

202 – Approval of the proposal

This status indicates that the server request was accepted for processing, but the processing has not yet been completed.

In this section, you will find non-authoritative information.

The translating proxy transformed the 200 OK answers from the origin server.

204 – There is no content in this section.

After completing the request, no additional material may be supplied in the response payload body.

205 – Reset the Data

This response code is identical to the 204 response code, except that the client initiating the request must reset the page view.

206 – Partially Contained Information

Components of the page discovered in the Range header field may be transferred to the requested page. The Server was able to satisfy the range request for the target resource in the most basic sense.

the status of being in more than one position

This multi-status answer presents information about more than one resource in cases when several status codes are appropriate.

The 3xx Redirection Status Codes

In most cases, 3xx Redirection codes indicate redirection. From a short-term solution to a long-term one. 3xx redirects are an essential aspect of keeping SEO value.

This is not the sole use for them. Page redirects might be classified as temporary or permanent by the user, and Google will take note of this.

Additional uses include denoting pages of material that are no longer required by redirecting to them.

301 – Permanently redirected

These are set-and-forget solutions. These are the status codes to use for moving SEO value from one URL to another on an ongoing basis, such as when migrating a website.

In what ways might 301 Redirects harm your search engine optimization efforts?

Many things have been mentioned by Google concerning the usage of 301 redirects and their influence. John Mueller has urged care in their usage.

In the case of a link, we may say: “Well, it’s this link between this canonical URL and that canonical URL- and that’s how we regard that specific URL.”

It’s not so much a problem of link equity loss as it is a matter of almost usability and crawlability. How can you arrange it such that Google can discover the end destination as rapidly as possible? Chain redirects are a major source of sluggishness, particularly on mobile. Make it so that people don’t have to leap through these reroute chains.

It takes a long time to do a DNS query between each redirect on mobile devices, which is akin to travelling between different hosts. To be honest, that’s where my attention would be drawn.

There doesn’t seem to be any loss of PageRank in this situation. But honestly, how can I make it apparent to both Google and the general public which URLs I want to be indexed? Additionally, the amount of chain redirection will be reduced by doing so. ”

Additionally, it’s vital to remember that not all 301 redirects will convey 100% of the link equity. This information comes from Roger Montti’s reporting.

When a user is redirected from one page to another, no PageRank is provided along, known as a “soft 404” error.

John Mueller has also before mentioned:

Instead, we’ll regard them as soft-404s and handle them as such. “301-redirecting for 404s makes sense if you have 1:1 replacement URLs.”

In this case, what matters is that the page’s content matches the theme. If the new page is closely related to the previous page’s subject, then the 301 redirects will convey 100% of its PageRank.

302 – Discovered

Temporary redirects, rather than permanent redirects, are also known. In a way, they’re like 301 redirects, except they’re transient.

It is possible to discover 302 redirects instead of 301 ones on sites where these redirects have been incorrectly configured.

Usually, they are done by developers who have no idea what they are doing.

301 redirection status codes that you may come across include:

Hundreds of Options

Several papers are involved in this redirect, each with its unique identifier. These papers are being presented to enable the user to pick the version they prefer.

303 – See Alternative Information.

Location header fields are often used for redirecting the user agent to another resource. Directly answering the first request is not what this redirect is about.

Non-Modified: 304

The true condition, which was false, would have resulted in a 200 OK answer if it had been true. In most cases, this applies to GET or HEAD queries.

Make use of a proxy server.

This has been deprecated and has no SEO effect.

Temporary redirection 307

This temporary redirection status code indicates that the desired page is now located at a different URL. It tells the user agent that if an auto-redirect is done to that URL, it must not alter the request method.

308 – Permanent redirect

Similar to a 301 permanent redirect.

A total of 4xx Client Error Status Codes are available.

4xx client error status codes are those status codes that notify us that something is not loading at all and why.

The error message is somewhat different for each code, but the ultimate effect is the same. Correcting these issues is essential, and it should be one of the first things checked during a website audit.

  • The request was rejected because it had an error code of 400
  • 403 Not allowed.
  • There was a problem with the URL:

There are three most typical statuses that an SEO may see: 400, 403, and 404 problems. These errors merely indicate that the resource is unavailable and unable to load.

It doesn’t matter whether it’s because of a brief server outage or anything else. What matters is that your pages aren’t being provided due to the improper request.

Screaming Frog may be used to find 4xx errors on a website.

Screaming Frog’s GUI and bulk export allows you to look for 4xx issues afflicting a website.

The GUI Method for Screaming Frog

1.Using the parameters that you are most comfortable with, crawl your website.

2.Right-click on the down arrow and choose “Down Arrow” from the menu.

  1. Click on the answer codes.

4) Sort by Client Error (4xx).

Using the Screaming Frog Bulk Export Protocol

1.Make use of the parameters you’re already acquainted with while crawling your site.

  1. Select Bulk Export from the dropdown menu.

3.Response Codes is the third option.

  1. Click on the Inlinks for Client Error (4xx) to see the error page.

Other 4xx issues you could encounter include:

  • 401 – Illegal activity
  • As of 402 – Payment Is Mandatory
  • 405 – Method Isn’t Acceptable
  • 406 – This Is Intolerable
  • 407 – Authentication using a Proxy is required
  • 408 – Requesting a timeout.
  • There is conflict in 409 –
  • It’s gone: • 410
  • When it comes to length, the answer is 411.
  • 412 – The precondition was not met.
  • 413 – Payload Is Unmanageable
  • 414 – Request-URI Is Excessively Long
  • There is an issue with the media type 415:
  • Requested Range Is Unsatisfactory • 416
  • Failure to meet expectations: 417
  • My name is 418, and I’m an actual teapot!
  • 421 – A Request That Isn’t There
  • Unprocessed Entity 422
  • Code 423 indicates that the door has been locked.
  • 424 – Failed Reliance
  • Code 426 indicates that an upgrade is necessary.
  • The preceding condition must be met to proceed with 428.
  • Overwhelmed with requests 429
  • a 431 – Request Header Fields Too Big Error
  • 444 – No response when the connection was closed
  • For legal reasons, this number is not accessible.
  • 499 – Closed Request by Client

5xx Error Codes on the Server

These errors point to a problem with the Server, which is impeding the entire processing of the request.

In most circumstances, the page does not load and is unavailable to the client-side user agent that is viewing it.

SEOs may find this to be a major issue.

How to Use Screaming Frog to Find 5xx Errors on a Website

It is possible to identify the underlying cause of a website’s 5xx issues utilizing Screaming Frog’s two investigation techniques. Both a Bulk Export and a GUI approach are available.

How to Find 5xx Errors with the Help of Screaming Frog GUI

1.Using the parameters that you are most comfortable with, crawl your website.

  1. Click on the dropdown arrow on the right side of the screen.
  2. Select “response codes” from the dropdown menu.

4.Filter by Server Error in the left-hand menu bar (5xx)

5.Error 5: Select Server Error (5xx).

  1. Click the Export button.

Bulk Export Method for Discovering 5xx Errors by Screaming Frog

1.Using the parameters you’re most comfortable with, crawl your site.

  1. Select Bulk Export from the dropdown menu.
  2. Select Response Codes from the dropdown menu.

Take a look at the error messages.

These 5xx problems will be shown here for you to see.

Some additional possible 5xx HTTP status codes include the following:

  • 500 – Server Error
  • There are currently no plans to implement 501
  • There was an error connecting to the Server.
  • This means that the service you requested is now unavailable.
  • Gateway Timeout: 504
  • This version of HTTP isn’t supported.
  • In addition, the 506-variant bargains.
  • 507 – Not enough storage space
  • Loop Detection: 508
  • There is no longer an option to extend this number.
  • It is necessary to perform network authentication to use port 511.
  • a 599 – Error Connecting to the Network: Timeout

A good first step is to ensure that your website’s HTTP status codes are correct.

If you want the search engines to know about all of the information on your site, the first step is to make sure every single page is 100% crawlable. This entails ensuring that every page is error-free.

After completing the SEO audit, you’ll be able to review your priorities and identify other areas in need of improvement, allowing you to go on to the next stage.

An SEO’s philosophy should be, “A web site’s job is never finished.” A website’s search engine rankings may almost always be enhanced by making small changes to certain site elements.

I’ll sell you a $1 million Florida bridge if someone thinks their website is fantastic and doesn’t require any further work.

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