Google Webmaster tools; Crawl errors

written by Web designers London on May 28, 2013 in SEO and Tutorials with no comments

301 redirect
One thing that may affect your website performance in search engines is broken pages within your website. In this post I will show you how to work out if your website is suffering with pages not found, and how to resolve this issue.

Firstly if you do not have a Google Webmaster tools account you need to create one. Once you have registered you account you need to click on “ADD A SITE”. Once you have done this a pop up box will appear asking for the URL of your website, click continue and you will be taken to the next page.

Google Webmaster

You are then greeted with a page to confirm you are the website owner. How this works is you download a HTML page from Google Webmasters, you save this to computer. Open up your FTP programme and in the root folder of your website upload the HTML file you just saved. Once you have done this just click on verify.

google webmaster

Verification should not take too long but you will have to wait a couple months to get feedback data for your website. Your Google Webmaster tools dashboard has many useful tools to monitor and improve your websites performance. For this web post I want to concentrate on the Crawl Errors which are abnormalities Google has found while indexing your website.

google webmaster

If you click on crawl errors in the grey box it will bring up your not found errors; I need to explain why my not found errors seems to be so high. I recently went from having a PHP website with a WordPress blog attached, to having a complete WordPress website which creates a lot of pages not found because the page addresses have been changed.

You will notice the list below which contains all the web pages that cannot be found by Google. These not found pages can really harm you website performance in search engines and need to be resolved ASAP.

So how do we resolve this issue?

google webmaster

We need to create a HT access file which creates a 301 redirect from the old URL to the new page created. Creating a 301 redirect is a fairly simple process.

To do this open up your favorite text editor, I use Notepad++ which is free and easy to use. Copy the code below and save the file as .htaccess

RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !^www\.your-site\.com [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.your-site.com/$1 [L,R=301]

Redirect 301 /old-page.html http://www.your-site.com/new-page.html

To explain this file, lines 3 and 4 are redirecting anybody who goes to the URL http://your-site.com too http://www.your-site.com, as having the one URL is better for SEO purposes.

The 5th line is redirecting your old indexed page to the new page you have created.

Now we have created the .htaccess file we now head back to Google webmaster tools dash board, we go through the list of not found pages. Below is the steps to fix your not found pages.

Click on one of the broken links and you will be greeted with this box:

google webmaster

Double check the link and your should be greeted with a 404 page to say that the web page does not exist. To fix this open up the .htacces file you created earlier and insert the following line:

Redirect 301 /for-salewebsites-for-sale/ http://www.webdesignerslondon.co/websites-for-sale/

Save the .htaccess file and upload it to the root folder of your website, now click on the broken link on the Google webmaster tools, if all is done correctly you should successfully be redirected to the new web page. Once you have are happy click on the “MARK AS FIXED” button to say all is fine.

Repeat the process for all the other broken links and before you know it your website will be feeling a lot more healthier.