SEO Topics

HTTP Status Codes

27/03/2022
HTTP Status Codes

HTTP status codes are the status of responses by servers to clients sending requests, such as web browsers or crawlers. Every response code has a different meaning but generally outcome of the request is the same. For instance, there are multiple redirect codes, but their outcome is the same.

Search engine webmaster tools like Google Search Console shows 4xx and 5xx errors also 3xx redirections too.

2xx Status (Success)

Search engines consider to index successfully opened pages. But 2xx http status code does not guarantee indexing by search engines.

200 (Success)

The 200 response code shows that there are no errors and the page is opened successfully. Search engine bots can index pages with 200 response codes in their own indexes, but this is not guaranteed.

201 (Created)

202 (Accepted)

204 (No Content)


3xx Status (Redirection)

301 (Moved Permanently)

301 Redirection

When the address to be reached is permanently moved to another address, 301 forwarding takes place. Web browsers redirect the page and search engines update the previously indexed page with the redirected page.

If a page on the website that has been deleted and dropped to 404 is redirected to another 301-related page, redirecting the user to another relevant page instead of the 404 page may reduce the likelihood of the user leaving the page.

302 (Found)

A 302 status code indicates a temporary redirect. The 302 code indicates that the content is present but in a different location. A temporary 302 redirect can be used if the content will be shown to the user on an alternative page and the current URL will be reused in the future.

Since the 302 redirect is a temporary redirect, the search engine bots ignore it for a while, but if this redirect remains for a long time, they can treat this redirect as a 301 and update the pages.

303 (See Other)

304 (Not Modified)

307 (Temporary Redirect)

Same as 302 status code.

A 307 is a temporary redirect just like a 302. While the 302 redirect is unclear, 307 indicates that the page has been temporarily moved to another location, exactly as requested.

If you are sure that the redirect is temporary, use 307.

Note: Google bots does not see 307 redirections.

302 vs 307 Redirection

308 (Moved Permanently)

Same as 301 status code.

Note: Status codes 307 and 308 are rarely encountered. The status codes usually seen on websites are 301 and 302.

Redirect Chain

If web browsers or search engine bots follow multiple redirects (for example 1. Page > 2. Page > 3. Page), it’s a redirect chain. Google advice redirecting to the final destination. If it’s not possible, keep the redirect chain low like maximum 3 times and fewer than 5.

The redirect chain delays the loading of pages, and not all web browsers support a long redirect chains.


4xx Status (Client Errors)

403 (Forbidden)

404 (Not Found)

If the server cannot find the requested page, it shows 404 status code. 404 pages are also known as dead links or broken links.

410 (Gone)

429 (Too Many Requests)


5xx Status (Server Errors)

500 (Internal Server Error)

502 (Bad Gateway)

503 (Service Unavaliable)


Redirect Path Extension

With Redirect Path extension on web browser it’s easy to see response code of the content.

Redirect Path HTTP Status Code

Reference:

https://developers.google.com/maps-booking/verticals/dining/reference/rest-api-v3/status_codes
https://developers.google.com/search/docs/advanced/crawling/http-network-errors
https://developers.google.com/search/docs/advanced/crawling/site-move-with-url-changes
https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/HTTP/Status
https://yoast.com/which-redirect/