We show you a step-by-step process to find and correct 404 crawl errors found in your blog’s Google Search Console. This will help you redirect 404 errors and improve user experience on your website or blog.
I’m not sure who first coined the phrase “Out of site, out of mind,” but I believe there has been no truer philosophy. However, if you’re a blogger it’s the stuff you don’t see, like crawl errors, that could be hurting your site.
Google will tell you that generally, 404s don’t harm your site’s performance on search engines. Fixing them will, in fact, help you improve the user experience. This could mean increased site traffic and increased bounce rate which could also help your search engine rank.
In my case, many of these crawl errors were caused when, long ago, not long after I started my site, I changed my URL auto format to not include dates. Some crawl errors may have occurred when I changed my site from HTTP to HTTPS, as well. Either way, fixing them can be easy.
How To Find Crawl Errors On Your Site
The first thing you’ll want to do is to sign into your Google Search Console. As you can see, I have three properties listed, but they’re technically the same. I just have them formatted differently. One is how my site URL appears (HTTPS://asmomseesit.com), another is without the ‘S’ in the protocol, and the next includes the ‘www’ in the URL.
Once I click on my website property (in this case, the second result – this is how my URL is currently formatted), I’m taken to the monitoring page of the Google Search Console.
On this page, your can click to see the top pages in Search Analytics and how many impressions each page gets. You can also see the top search queries that triggered your site in Google searches. I sometimes use this search to add or modify keywords in my posts.
The last option allows your to find errors on your site’s pages, such as crawl errors.
Check For Site Errors In Your Google Search Console
Check for, and repair, any site errors that are listed in your Google Search Console. In my case, at least at this time, there are none, so we’re going to skip to my crawl errors. Those are listed below any site errors that Google found.
Check For Crawl Errors In Your Google Search Console
In my case, there are 24 crawl errors listed and all are 404 errors. This means that when Google tried to search for that URL, no page was found. Basically, that means that there is an error in the URL for which Google was searching and we need to redirect Google – and most importantly, our readers – to the correct URL.
If you’ve NOT found any crawl errors – CONGRATULATIONS!
If you’ve been blogging as long as I have, you’re likely to have at least one, especially if at some point you changed the format of your URLs. I’m really not surprised at the number I have, so I’m going to take this one URL at a time.
First, click on the first URL listed. You’ll see a box pop up similar to the one below.
Next, click on the highlighted URL at the top (the address that listed after “URL:”). Of course, you’ll see that the page is not found and there’s a 404 error. We already knew this.
At the top of your screen, there should be a black bar just below your URL bar and bookmarks if you have them. You’ll see a an option that says “Create Redirect.” Click on it. This option may only appear if you’re using the Yoast SEO plugin, which many bloggers using WordPress do.
Choose 301 as your type of redirect, which is a permanent redirect. This may already be a chosen option.
You’ll see the old URL listed; do not change this! Instead, search your site for the updated, correct URL for that post. Copy and paste it into the box below the old URL.
Click “Add Redirect.” Then click “OK.”
Go back to the original box, still open in the Search Console. Click “Fetch as Google” and another page will open.
Now that the link has been fixed, you can also request indexing by Google at this point, as well. If the post that I corrected is not evergreen content for any reason, then I don’t bother requesting it to be indexed.
Once your done, you can close that window and return back to the Search Console window. Click “Mark as fixed”, then click “OK.” You’re now done fixing that link. Repeat for all of your other links and you’ve greatly reduced your Google Search Console Crawl Errors!
Let us know below if you have any questions! Once you’re crawl errors are fixed, you’re ready to rock your blog.