SEO for Photographers - 404 Page

SEO for Photographers Part 8 Code is Important

In Search Engine Optimisation by mike weeks

Part 8 of SEO for Photographers see us looking at some technical aspects of your website that can help your rankings.

Your web server has a set of response codes that are used depending on the status of any pages requested. These codes are;

  • 200 – A valid page has been found at the specified URL
  • 404 – No page was found at the specified URL
  • 301 – The specified URL does a search engine friendly redirect to another page
  • 302 – The specified URL does a non search engine friendly redirect to another page

You would not see these codes normally, but you should set up your server to deal with them. You do not want to throw away good SEO for photographers.

If your website returns a 404 code when checked by a search engine bots such as googlebot it could negatively affect your web rankings. You often get these when you have been editing and changing your site. The error is caused by missing pages. There are many WordPress plugins such as True Google 404 that will take your visitor to a page of potential page links they really wanted and a search feature. It will also log any 404 pages so you can take action and rectify with a 301. I updated to this plugin whilst writing this post and within a few minutes it had helped me find an error.

The following image is the Internet Explorer default 404 page.

SEO for Photographers - 404 Page

SEO for Photographers – 404 Page

If you move pages it is possible to create 301 redirects so that any requests for the old page are redirected to the new page. This can often be done in the web hosting control panel. IMPORTANT: Never delete a page without working out and implementing a redirect. This includes changing or deleting Tags or Categories in WordPress.

By default there is a www and a non www version of your URL (website address), for me that would be and – You want only one or you are splitting your rankings between 2 sites. A further disadvantage is that Google penalises duplicate content, bad SEO for Photographers.

Fortunately if you have Linux hosting you can enter the following code in the .htaccess file.

RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !^www\.dorsetphotoevent\.co\.uk
RewriteRule (.*)$1 [R=301,L]

obviously insert your website name where I have mine. Sometimes you can do this via the control panel of your web host. I have never done this on a windows server. Your site may already be doing this, to check your site use this website.

SEO for Photographers articles

If you have been following this series of SEO for photographers articles and implementing the advice you should hopefully see an improvement in your site rankings. It will not happen overnight but it will happen

SEO for Photographers Part 7                                                      SEO for Photographers Part 9