HTTP is a widespread data transfer protocol, initially intended for the transfer of documents that contain links, allowing you to organize the transition to other documents.
The primary task of the HTTP protocol is the exchange of data between a user application accessing web resources (usually a web browser) and a web server. The World Wide Web operates thanks to the HTTP protocol. When a search engine or visitor requests a web server, a three-character HTTP code is returned to it, indicating what is happening. Here’s what they may mean:
- the page exists and works correctly;
- the page doesn’t exist;
- the page moved permanently;
- the page moved temporarily;
- the server is loaded and cannot process the request.
Today, on the Short.io blog, we’ll figure out the difference between the most spread HTTP codes: 200, 301, 302, 304, 404.
200 Code informs about successful processing of the request. For example, the client requested data. The 200 response means that this data is displayed successfully. The search engine indexes resources and links that provide the 200 code. For the search robots, the 200 response means that the page really exists, so it can be included to the index base. If you want the search engine to index the pages, make sure they have the 200 response.
301 Moved Permanently
Updating your website or a domain, remember to use a 301 redirect. The 301 redirect is an instruction that indicates that the page has been moved. When clicking a link, we expect to find a page on a given address, but it has changed. No problem, the web server redirects to a new address. Changes won’t be noticeable for users if they’re not paying attention to the updated URL in the address bar.
It’s the best method for maintaining the search positions and the results of promotion when moving the website to a new address.
302 Found (Moved Temporarily)
If this type of redirection is created on the site, it means that the page is temporarily moved to another address. The disadvantage is that it does not transmit the weight of the page. As a result, the site loses the external link juice and the web-page weight.
302 redirect is required in the following cases:
- during the technical work on the website;
- when the site owner wants to show other materials to visitors without making changes to the old page;
- if the hosting company sees banned content on the site, to close the page to visitors;
- if traffic from a specific domain is temporarily redirected to another resource.
304 Not Modified
The HTTP error code 304 means that there is a problem with the URL you are trying to access. This problem could be caused in the following cases:
- the resource for the URL you are trying to access has not changed since the last time you visited it;
- the URL you are trying to access has not changed since the last time you cached it.
404 Not Found
The response reports that the server cannot find data according to the request. The most common causes of the error are:
- incorrectly entered URLs;
- broken links;
- changed addresses;
- removed pages.
404 errors can also appear due to the incorrect operation of the server, which can generate an error even when the resource is running.
How to check the response codes
You can use one of the programs on the Internet. Some do mass checks for all pages of the site, and some require you to enter a URL. Choose a service based on your tasks. The example is the HTTP Status service.
- If the page correctly responds to the request with code 200, it has been safely indexed. If it is deleted, the 404 (not found)code will be displayed.
- If you use a temporary redirect (302), then both addresses will be included in the index.
- If the web page uses a permanent redirect, you will receive a response of code 301. So, the search engine will index only the final address.
- If you assign a redirect to the 301 page, it will be removed from the index base later, and its weight can be transferred to the end page.
The article is about:
- http response codes;
- error status code;
- list of http status codes;
- manage https status codes on short.io;
- http status codes for short links.