Google's "Big Memory" On 404 Pages

Apr 9, 2013 - 8:51 am 13 by

Google 404 ErrorA Google Webmaster Help thread brings up a common question I see from webmasters, publishers and SEOs - why does Google Webmaster Tools continuously show old 404 pages in Webmaster Tools when those pages are either no longer linked to or 404ed.

Google's John Mueller said you don't have to worry about it. He said "Google has a big memory" and often Google will continue to retry the 404ed URLs over and over again, just to be sure. Plus, if anyone on the Internet is still linking to a 404ed page and Google crawls that link, they will try it again.

Having 404ed pages is not something that is an issue by itself. Of course, if the 404ed page shouldn't be 404ed then that is an issue. But if the page does not exist, it should report a 404 error, that is what it is made to do.

Google's John Mueller said:

If we've seen a URL once, we're likely to retry it again and again, especially if we should run across new links to that URL. This isn't something that you really need to worry about, it's absolutely fine and even expected that a website returns 404 for URLs that don't exist. Assuming these are URLs that you don't want to have indexed, then these 404 errors will not negatively affect your site's performance in search. Having 404s is fine.

For more details, see this Google blog post.

Forum discussion at Google Webmaster Help.

 

Popular Categories

The Pulse of the search community

Follow

Search Video Recaps

 
Google Core Update Volatility, Helpful Content Update Gone, Dangerous Search Results & Ads Confusion - YouTube
Video Details More Videos Subscribe to Videos

Most Recent Articles

Search Forum Recap

Daily Search Forum Recap: April 12, 2024

Apr 12, 2024 - 4:00 pm
Search Video Recaps

Search News Buzz Video Recap: Google Core Update Volatility, Helpful Content Update Gone, Dangerous Google Search Results & Google Ads Confusion

Apr 12, 2024 - 8:01 am
Google Search Engine Optimization

Google: Indexing & Algorithm Updates Are Independent

Apr 12, 2024 - 7:51 am
Google Search Engine Optimization

Google Structured Data Carousels Beta Docs Clarifies Feature Availability & Markup Location

Apr 12, 2024 - 7:41 am
Google

Google: Ranking In Shopping, Images & Other Verticals Doesn't Hurt Your Web Rankings

Apr 12, 2024 - 7:31 am
Google

Google Knowledge Panels - Mentioned People

Apr 12, 2024 - 7:21 am
Previous Story: Google: Be Careful Hiring An SEO To Manage Your Google Maps Listing