Servers can communicate with users online using these codes or answers. These codes are three-digit response codes or messages known as HTTP status codes transmitted by a server, search engine, or browser to a browser or user at the other end of the server. These codes let users know whether a server is up and running when a request is made to see a specific website or Web page. This blog will give you a detailed explanation of those HTTP status codes and their purpose.
What are HTTP Status Codes?
Three-digit HTTP status codes are the server’s answers or responses to browser-side requests. Most people have probably encountered the well-known 404 page not found error. However, there are many other HTTP client error status codes besides that one.
There are many code classes based on the type of information being communicated by the server and the browser. These status codes (also known as response status codes) facilitate communication between the two. The first digit of the error number indicates the different classes of errors. For example, exactly as a 404, any other 4xx will suggest that the page or website could not be accessed for whatever reason, while a 2xx indicates that your request was fulfilled correctly.
Different Types of HTTP Status Codes
There are five distinct groups into which HTTP status codes fall. Even if you need to know the precise answer code, each category will provide you with suggestions as to what the response was. Such are,
- 1xx – Informational: The request has been received, and the server is executing it
- 2xx – Successful: The request was fulfilled, and the browser got the requested data
- 3xx – Redirection: You have been redirected, and more action is needed to complete the request
- 4xx – Client Error: The website or page could not be accessed because it needed to be made available or the request had an incorrect syntax
- 5xx – Server Error: The request looks to be genuine, but the server was unable to process it
The most used HTTP status codes for SEOs
Every website owner and professional SEO should know the status codes that affect SEO the most.
Imagine you’re working on a website that frequently displays 5xx problems, you’ll want to be able to identify that this is a server issue right away. The visitor experience is affected by 4xx problems, so you should immediately consider any modifications you may have made to your URLs or whether you have deleted any pages. Once you identify the root of the problem, you can design a custom 404 page or consider using the super-effective 301 redirects to route visitors to the appropriate page.
The most important status codes for Search Engine Optimisation that should be learned and committed to memory are,
Status Code 200 – Ok
The 200 OK response code is the status code for a functioning page when viewed from an SEO perspective, as all the linked sites are functioning as they should. A 200 indicates that search engine crawlers can successfully crawl the page and is added to their index.
Status Code 301- Permanently Redirect
Anytime a URL has to be permanently redirected to another, a 301 redirect should be used. Visitors and bots who arrive on that page will be directed to the new page URL through a 301 redirect. A 301 redirect also transfers link equity or the influence that all of those arduous links to your content send to the new URL. Despite Google’s claims, studies have revealed that not all 3xx redirects are processed equally. Therefore, for permanent page redirection, a 301 redirect continues to be the technique of choice.
Status Code 302 – Temporary Redirect
Similar to a 301 redirect, a 302 redirect passes visitors and bots to the new page but may not convey link equity. Therefore, the use of 302 redirects for long-lasting modifications is not advised. In addition, using 302s makes the redirect transitory in the eyes of search engine crawlers, which may prevent it from passing along the link equity that code 301 accomplishes.
Status Code 404 – Not Found
This indicates that the server could not locate the file or page that the browser was requesting. 404 errors don’t say whether a page or resource is gone forever or just momentarily. By entering a URL that isn’t valid, you may see how this appears on your site. It feels like you’ve hit a brick wall. Your visitors will encounter a page with a 404 error, just as you have, and will either try again (if you’re lucky) or leave to visit another website that contains the data they’re looking for.
Every website will occasionally have pages that produce 404 error messages. There are other choices besides constantly redirecting these pages. The idea that merely 301 redirecting 404-returning pages to the given domain’s home page are an SEO best practice is frequently held in error. In most circumstances, this is a bad idea because it could confuse users, unaware that the webpage they were attempting to access doesn’t exist.
Employing 301 redirects to the most relevant page is recommended if the pages generating 404 errors have high authority, high traffic, or marked URLs that visitors or links are intended to reach.
Status Code 410 – Gone
A 410 indicates that the page has been deleted and is more permanent than a 404. The server no longer hosts the page, and no forwarding address has been established. If you find links on your website that point to a 410 page, remove them from your content because they send bots and visitors to a dead resource.
Status Code 500 – Internal Server Error
The 500 Internal Server Error status code indicates that the server has run into a problem it cannot resolve.
When viewed from an SEO perspective, the 500 Internal Server Error denotes a server issue rather than the content’s accessibility. As a result, your website will lose bots and human visitors, and your link equity will freeze quickly. You should look into these status codes and get them corrected as soon as you come across them because search engines favour well-maintained websites.
Status Code 503 – Service Unavailable
A 503 response, another variation of the 500, indicates that the service is down. Everyone (human or otherwise) is requested to return later. This can result from the server being temporarily overloaded or server maintenance. A 503 status code ensures that the search engines are informed that the page or site will only be unavailable for a brief period and to check back shortly.
How to Check the Status Code of the URL?
The process is very simple, you can do it by following the below steps,
- Use your browser to access the URL you want to check.
- Navigate to the “Network” tab in the Developer tab (F12).
- Reload the page.
- Locate the first request of the “document” type by scrolling to the top of the list of requests.
- You can now locate the HTTP response code in “Status.”
Knowing the most typical HTTP errors should give you a solid foundation for resolving problems with your web servers or applications. If you experience any errors listed above, now you know what the exact message that code means.