It’s always nice to get some friendly feedback from Google, whatever the subject may be. If you’re just starting out in SEO and you have your own website, you may find 404 errors popping up in the webmaster tools console. They can be frightening at first and you’ll start to wonder if they can negatively affect your site in the search results.
Answer: 440 errors won’t and can’t hurt your search engine efforts, e.g they won’t reduce your positioning in Google.
However, they can create a bad user experience and will probably tank your efforts of trying to keep a user on your site. It’s best practice to fix them, but they probably won’t hurt your rankings. As part of our SEO audit process, within the content segment, we’ll check to see if you have any problematic broken links on your site and whether you’re wasting valuable juice because of those.
Google’s Comment On 404 Errors
John Mueller recently gave us webmasters some friendly advice on Twitter regarding 404 errors:
Most 404s aren’t the site’s fault; people (+sites) link in the weirdest, broken ways. Hiding the errors doesn’t seem right
— John ☆.o(≧▽≦)o.☆ (@JohnMu) 3 January 2017
Every website has 404 errors, no site is perfect. Therefore, try not to take it personally if you see 404s in your webmaster console, just get to work and fix them to maximise your user’s engagement.