Published today in SEO by James Parsons

In most circumstances, a 404 error page on your site is bad thing.  It means a page didn’t load, a page moved without redirect or a page is broken in some way.  In some cases, it means a mistyped link is pointing to a bad page.  All of these are a hindrance to your site, but you can use them as an opportunity.
Think about it like this.  When a user visits a URL attached to your domain, it’s either a page that exists or a page that doesn’t.  When it’s a page that exists, good.  You’ve drawn in a new user.  If it’s a page that doesn’t exist, you have two options.  You can display a 404 page – the default in most web setups – or you can automatically redirect them to the homepage.
When you realize that out of the infinite combinations of letters and numbers in varying lengths that can make up a URL, and you see how few of them are associated with a real page on your site, you begin to see the opportunity presented to you.  Every possible typo, malformed URL or broken link is an opportunity.
The first thing you should know is that a passive redirect to your homepage is the wrong way to go.  Sure, it looks a little better than a basic 404 page, but only a little.  Often, a user will click to…

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