Broken links and 404 Page-Not-Found errors can instantly create adverse impact on the page rankings of your WordPress blogs or websites. If there are many such issues on your websites, then search engines like Google will penalize you rankings, without any prior notice.
WordPress is really good platform for organizing the posts and pages in a systematic way. However, things can get a little out of hand, when you keep adding more and more pages. You could also make such errors during the customization or redesigning process of your sites.
Whenever you identify 404 pages on your WordPress blog, it is important to use proper redirects like the 301 redirect. It is the practice that it is recommended by most of the successful internet marketers.
WordPress redirect not only helps in improving the user experience of the visitors, it also tells the search engines to crawl to a new destination page. If you use a permanent redirect like the 301 redirect, then the page ranking and the link equity of the page will also get transferred to the new page, as suggested by you in the code.
Why is 404 Error bad for your website SEO?
Whenever the visitors come to the website and they see that the page is not to be found, it is imperative for them to feel frustrated. They will simply close your web page and try to find information on other online resources.
Now, that is the traffic that has actually visited your website, and has turned back without finding the information that they were looking for. Why would you want to lose out on the traffic that is already visiting your website?
At the same time, the 404 error also brings the search engine crawlers to the dead end. If they find many such pages on your site, they will definitely downgrade the page rankings of your post. That will in turn affect the overall SEO results of your website.
Instead of 404 Error, you can also use the 302 redirect, which will tell the search engines that the page is temporary moved to a new destination. You can also use the temporary redirects if you are working on optimizing the images on your posts. It allows you to test the page load speeds with images of different sizes. Always take backup of your files, so that you always have the last resort to reset WordPress to restore the backups.
Any website visitor will not enjoy bumping into broken links and 404 errors. Even the search engines will drop the rankings of your pages, and eventually your website will stop showing up on the search results page.
Easy way to redirect your WordPress pages:
You can use the 301 WP redirect plugin for sending your visitors to new and updated pages. You don’t need to have any kind of programming skills to make the changes. It is a simple tool with easy user interface, which allows you to not only do the redirects in a jiffy, it also has the features for monitoring the redirects for their performance.