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Beginner’s Guide of HTTP Status Codes

The server response is a three-digit number given by the server to a user request. It includes a succinct explanation in English. Robots and browsers inspect the code. It is used for indexing control and error correction. It speeds up the indexing of the page. 

Classification 

The most common kinds of server codes are:

  • Informational (1xx). Indicates whether or not the request was successfully received.
  •  Success! (2xx). The server responds favorably.
  • Redirection (3xxx). Is used to redirect the request to a different address.
  • Error codes (4xxx and 5xxx). A client error is indicated by the 4xxx code, and a server error is indicated by the 5xxx code.

How to check

There are several ways to check the server response:

  • Checking online in the browser. Refresh the page after visiting the Network tab on your dashboard. This will show the server response code and the page address.
  • Online services. Specialized online services (e.g. sitechecker.pro) are used. It is possible to perform bulk or page-by-page checks.
  • Desktop programs. Mass checks are conducted with the help of special analyzer tools (e.g. Screaming Frog).

Common Codes

404 eror

The most prevalent response codes include:

  • 100 Continue. This is a status update informing you that your request has been accepted.
  • 200 OK. This shows that the request has been fulfilled successfully. This code is present on all significant pages.
  • 301 Moved permanently. Shows that the file or page has been relocated to a new location. A 301 redirect is set up in case the page address changes.
  • 404 Not Found. When looking for pages that don’t exist, this code denotes a missing document. Applying this code prevents deleted pages from being indexed.
  • 500 Internal Server Error. The code indicates that a request cannot be fulfilled because of server errors. Inappropriate use of CGI programs or incorrect htaccess configuration file syntax are the causes.
  • 503 Service Unavailable. Due to server overload or malfunction, processing has been paused. The code is used during server maintenance.

Checking Tools

Sitechecker and Headmasterseo are the most well-known tools for examining the server response code. Sitechecker offers website monitoring and thorough audits. Its primary duties include verifying response codes, doing an SEO audit (looking at dead links and meta tags), analyzing an SEO page (looking at meta tags, images, and links), and weighing HTML pages. To check URLs in bulk and track status codes, use Headmasterseo. The program scans up to 500 links at once, checks URLs using the HEAD method, redirect loops, header fields, and Sitemap files.

Applying Codes Correctly

The 404 Not Found error can make the user unhappy. However, with the right approach increases user loyalty to the site. In order to do this, dry figures are enhanced with amusing components, a unique design, or comedy. It is important to carefully study the response code principles so that the necessary adjustments can be performed. This will enhance how the site’s pages are indexed. If you do not understand the codes, it can lead to unnecessary waste of the crawling budget. Each page should have the 200 OK response. Even if the information requested is not available, using creative solutions will improve behavioral characteristics.

Effect of Codes on SEO 

seo effect

HTTP status codes are evaluated by search engine algorithms differently. The search ranking of a page is unaffected by codes of classes 1xx and 2xx, whereas codes of classes 3xx, 4xx, and 5xx may have varying effects. Class 3xx codes are redirects to another page. There are permanent codes (301 and 308) and temporary codes (302, 303 and 307). Class 4xx and class 5xx codes indicate an error. Some of them have a detrimental impact on the page’s search ranking. The page might be deleted from the index if the errors are not fixed when you revisit it. Using Google Search Console, you may determine whether the page is indexed. You can choose “Request indexing” if the page is not yet indexed. You can also find website errors with this tool.

Conclusion

Server codes contain crucial instructions for search bots. Code analysis helps to find optimization bugs. Correct server response setup sends a message to the search engine, regulates the indexing procedure, and redirects pages.

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    Alexander Tarakhovich

    SEO expert with extensive experience. Helping you understand SEO. He takes the guesswork out of SEO, his advice in optimizations are based on what actually works. Alexander is currently working to make SEO known and accessible worldwide. Read Blog