Add a Google 404 widget and enhance your site’s custom 404 page or your wordpress theme’s 404 template. Google’s 404 widget lets you add Google’s intelligence to your dumb custom 404 pages /wordpress 404 templates.
Google seem to be enhancing the Google Webmaster Tools quite frequently, these days. Now Google has added a new tool – a 404 widget for your site.Thanks Google.
what is a custom 404 page?
A custom 404 page is a page that your website should churn out, whenever a visitor tries to navigate to links on your site, that no longer exists or had never existed. Google had always recommended a custom 404 page for websites.
This is google’s recommendation on custom 404 pages:
When a user clicks on a link to a page that’s no longer available on your site, your server returns a 404 (Page Not Found) error. Because generic messages can be frustrating to the user, we recommend creating a custom 404 page, to provide more useful information about your site
Read Google’s guidelines for creating useful custom 404 pages.
How does Google’s 404 widget help?
Many of the well designed wordpress themes will have a custom 404 template included, by default.But the 404 templates in most wordpress themes do not provide any useful information.You can now overcome this drawback by adding a 404 widget to your custom 404 page. Google’s 404 widget, automatically provides users with helpful suggestions instead of generic error messages.
- It adds a search box for your site with appropriate search suggestions.
- It tries to provide alternatives to incorrect URLs.
Google’s 404 widget thus makes it easier for users to find the information they need.Your visitors will be less likely to leave your site to look elsewhere.
How to get Google’s 404 widget?
- Logon to your Google Webmaster Tools account,
- Go to “Tools” -> “Enhance 404 pages“,
- Generate the 404 widget code for your site in your own language.
Copy the generated code and paste it into your custom 404 page (wordpress 404 template in your theme), at the location, where you want it to appear. You can even change the appearance of your 404 widget by following these instructions .
Note: Platinum SEO plugin, that has seen more than 5000 downloads, helps in automatically 301 redirecting your visitors, for pages/posts whose permalink structures have changed.Platinum SEO plugin provides smart wordpress seo options for smart SEO benefits and helps you to avoid 404 error pages due to changes in permalink structure.