Status code element in a server response is a three digit integer, where first digit of status code defines the class of response. A new help document published by Google explains how different HTTP status codes affect how a website appears in search results. The document includes top 20 status codes that search bots encounter on the web.
Here are some key takeaways for each category of status codes:
- HTTP 2xx (Success): This status code means that the search bot (Googlebot) can crawl the content of the webpage and index it. However, it is important to note that Google mentions that HTTP 2xx status code doesn’t guarantee that the webpage will be indexed, it actually means that no errors were encountered while crawling through the webpage. The only exception being 204 status code, this code means the page was accessed but no content was found.
- HTTP 3xx (Redirects): Different redirect codes act differently, for example HTTP 301 sends a stronger signal than 302, 303, or 307 code. HTTP 304 status code signals that the content on the webpage is same as last time it was crawled. Googlebot tries up to 10 redirect hops before it stops trying and the search console exhibits a redirect error in site’s index coverage report.
- HTTP 4xx (Client Errors): Webpages that exhibit HTTP 4xx status code are not considered for indexing by Google in it’s search results. All 4xx errors except 429, signal that no content exists on the webpage. If the content previously existed on the webpage, the URL will now be removed from Google’s search index. On the contrary, server code 429 indicates that the webpage couldn’t be accessed by Googlebot because the server is overloaded. These website URLs are preserved in Google’s index.
- HTTP 5xx (Server Errors): Server errors 5xx indicate Googlebots to temporarily slow down. If previously indexed URLs continue to exhibit 5xx server errors, they are dropped.
SEO techniques play an important role in improving the ranking of a website or webpage in search engine result pages. Understanding server codes and how they impact the SEO can help in understanding the gaps in your SEO strategy and taking appropriate measures to fill these gaps. To know more, contact Centex Technologies at (404) 994 – 5074.