404 error caused deleting pages?

Hello everyone,

I deleted a few pages on my website. On now, in GSC, I have many 404 errors (check the pic), thus explains also why I’m not registered in SERP at all.

I set up almost 30x 301 redirects to the current main pages, but not already taken into account by GSC.
But I don’t know it has been the right solution.

Do you have some suggestions to help me out ? :slight_smile:

Redirects should not result in 404 errors. A 404 means Google asked for the page but didn’t get anything.

If the page is deleted, that’s actually a reasonable response. If the page is not deleted, but merely moved (or there’s content substantially similar to the deleted content), then a 301 is appropriate.

If you go to the URLs listed in your examples, do you get a 404 error, or do you get correctly redirected? If you’re getting a 404, perhaps your redirects file has an error. Please post it here (formatted with the </> button) and we can help troubleshoot it. If you get redirected correctly, then you might suspect that Google found the 404 and hasn’t yet revisited. (Compare the dates listed to when you added the 301.) You can tell Google the situation is resolved and to validated the fix, and it’ll come back and crawl those pages again (discovering the 301). That can take a week, so don’t be surprised if nothing changes immediately.

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I checked a couple of the links above, and they redirected to either the home page or alterative page. Remember to clear your browser cache when implementing redirects.

Besides what @Cathy_Sarisky mentioned, you could use redirects (not the best idea for Google Search at least), recreate the missing page/post so there is no 404, but you’ll stick to the original URL.
Anyways, Google Search Console takes several days to “update” and “reconcile” its crawled data for your website.
The best you can do is to provide directly your sitemap and also request deletion for the outdated URL.

Thank you all for the help ! I appreciate it :slight_smile:

Indeed, I redirect all my 404 pages to 3 differents URLs, depending on the relevancy of each of them.

Everything is working, but I was really concerned about 3 points :

  • If you get wrong in an internal link, it will create a 404 right away…
  • And make it double with amp links…
  • And sometimes it creates 404 with a version with / at then end of the URL and another one without.

It also explains the huge amount of redirects.

Is it a normal case with Ghost ?

I agree with Cathy. If a page is gone, it’s gone. Google doesn’t penalize you for it. But I wouldn’t redirect everything to one of three pages. That’s telling Google that your website only has three things to say. That’s duplicate content. It dilutes your SEO rankings. Google has to decide which of the many pages to rank highest. If an existing page has similar content to a missing page, then you should redirect to it. If not, don’t redirect it. Google will figure out that your website now has fewer pages, notice the 404, stop indexing the missing page, and probably rank your remaining pages higher.

No, it’s not normal… which Ghost version are you running? If it’s self hosted, provide details about the server and how are you running ghost.

To reply to @Michael_McGinnis → If I understand well, I should redirect if needed. If not, I don’t do it. But don’t you think it is penalizing ?

By the way, I wrote a new article and it created 2 new 404 errors !
It happens again ! (picture below)

I don’t understand why…
I checked the header and footer and all the links are okay.

Do you have any ideas about that problem ?

Screenshot 2024-07-10 173917

The only broken link I found manually is your home page. You should put some content at www.jeremyvincent.be/ not just at jeremyvincent.be/blog/ - you don’t want a 404 when someone clicks on your orange logo. I don’t find any broken links using Free Broken Link Checker - Dead Link Checking Tool by Ahrefs. It looks like something is appending jeremyvincent.be/contact to the end of your URLs. That’s not normal. Google’s John Mueller said in 2013, “404 errors on invalid URLs do not harm your site’s indexing or ranking in any way. It doesn’t matter if there are 100 or 10 million, they won’t harm your site’s ranking.”

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It looks like you created a link on each of those pages that was supposed to link to https://jeremyvincent.be/contact but instead said jeremyvincent.be/contact (no https), which caused Ghost to stick what it thought was part of a URL fragment onto the existing page URL. You can fix this by finding that link (presumably on the analyse-semantique-article-seo page) and editing it for correctness.

For example, this button is broken - that caused both 404 pages in your screenshot, because Google tried to follow your incorrect link:

Links and buttons need full URLs including https, or valid paths (without the domain name).

I see that you’ve moved this content from /blog/ to /. That’s going to break existing links in your posts, so if you plan to keep it that way, you’re going to need to write a redirect rule. (Or better yet, don’t move existing content whenever possible!)

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Thank you so much @Cathy_Sarisky !
I was pursuing that broken link for ages.

Which software did you use to find it ?
I used SE Ranking but it didn’t detect it.

I applied a 301 redirect but it takes time…
How long is it going to be live ?

I hope truly so :slight_smile:

But, are you sure it is still up to date in 2024 ?

I just looked at the link, and figured out what you’d intended. No super secret.

The 301 goes into effect as soon as you load the redirects.yaml. The question you meant to ask is probably “how long will it take Google to notice I now have a redirect?” You can speed that up by telling Google to “validate fix” on the 404 link, or requesting re-indexing on the page with the wrong link (once you’ve fixed it). But even then, the answer is probably ‘several days’.

Here’s an authoritative article from 2021 about broken links: Does Fixing Old Broken Links Still Matter to SEO? - Moz and when I searched the most authoritative source for “broken links,” I couldn’t find anything: Google Search Central (formerly Webmasters) | Web SEO Resources  |  Google for Developers

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Thanks for the reply Cathy, I appreciate your commitment :smiley:

The thing is I already mentioned all the redirects in yaml file, but still the 404 appearing in GSC.

Does it go away at some point ?

To put some context, if I select “known pages” (i supposed in english), I have 59 non index pages, which is huge comparing to what I published (13 pages).

But if we look at the sent pages, it’s almost correct…

I am lost by those filters. What do they mean ?

I’m sorry… I’m not sure what’s meant by ‘sent pages’ - it may be a mistranslation?

Ahha. That’s ‘all submitted pages’, which means pages that you have a sitemap or have directly submitted. (I think - might need to confirm with documentation.)

So it’s consistent that the unsubmitted pages are where the 404s are. I’d look at the specific urls giving a 404 - inspecting each one will show you what page the link is coming from, and perhaps give you a hint if you have an error in one of your links, like the one I pointed out earlier.

If a page is truly gone and /should/ give a 404, and you don’t currently link to it incorrectly, then no action is needed.