The Ultimate Guide to Website Status Codes SEO in 2023

website status codes

Understanding and managing website status codes is essential for achieving search engine optimisation (SEO) success.

In this guide, we’ll discuss the importance of these codes in terms of SEO results as well as best practices on how to optimise a website’s performance so that it can achieve good rankings in search engines like Google or Bing.

Key Takeaways

  • Understanding website status codes is essential for SEO as they determine how search engine crawlers interact with webpages.
  • Monitor and manage your website’s status codes using Google Search Console to optimise performance, visibility, user experience & SEO.
  • Implement redirects with 301 Moved Permanently code & fix broken links to protect website performance & maintain SEO value.

Understanding Website Status Codes

digital marketing, seo, google

Search engine utilisation of website status codes has a major impact on SEO. The main five types are 1xx (Informational), 2xx (Successful), 3xx (Redirection), 4xx (Client Errors) and 5xx (Server Errors).

These enable search engines to understand the current condition of webpages, which will influence how they work in crawling, indexing, as well as displaying content within their results pages. Thus it is essential for businesses to monitor and regulate these codes so that better visibility can be achieved through higher rankings on such platforms, maximising your efforts in SEO.

What are Website Status Codes?

Essential for server-client communication, website status codes are three-digit numbers that convey the result of a browser’s request – successful or unsuccessful and sometimes require additional action. By providing information on the success or failure of a client’s inquiry to its respective server, these web status codes act as an important method for transferring results between browsers and servers.

Why are Status Codes Important for SEO?

The importance of status codes in SEO is paramount as they regulate page crawlability, indexability and user experience by helping search engines comprehend the state a webpage is in. For example, when crawling a 200 OK code, it tells them that this content can be indexed and found on their engine, whereas if there’s an error like 404 Not Found, then it’s impossible to find anything related or index it accordingly.

Keeping tabs on your website’s status gives you opportunities such as maintaining the healthy operation of your site while elevating its potential for receiving high-ranking results since monitoring these signals helps adhere to certain criteria set out by various Search Engines. Allocating time to dealing with any issues pertaining to status codes would boost overall performance and compliance with guidelines given by those same search engines, all leading to organic traffic increase as well.

Common HTTP Status Code Categories

mobile seo google analytics

Having a good understanding of the five categories of HTTP status codes is essential for effective website management and SEO optimisation. Each type provides feedback about whether or not the request was successful, which then has an impact on how well your website performs in search engines.

1xx (Informational)

1xx Status codes offer information about the reception of a request and that it is being taken care of. The 100 Continue code, for example, is used in protocol-level communication to let clients know their connection remains intact without requiring any action.

It may not necessarily affect site performance directly, but recognising them can be useful when troubleshooting issues between servers and browsers.

2xx (Successful)

2xx codes represent successful requests, with the most commonly seen being 200 OK. These codes show us that a client’s request has been received, comprehended and processed without any issues. As such, these status messages are advantageous for website performance as well as SEO, communicating to search engines that content was productively transferred.

For instance, an okay signal means an effective demand where the requested asset has properly been fetched and then delivered. Making sure each page returns a 2xx code reinforces both UX (User Experience) plus website speed which consequently impacts search engine rankings positively.

3xx (Redirection)

Having the correct management of 3xx status codes is essential for giving users a smooth experience and protecting your website’s SEO value. These particular types of messages, like 301 Moved Permanently code, indicate to both search engines as well as individuals that there has been an alteration in the location of something. This allows them to adjust their bookmarks plus indices accordingly.

It’s important that these sorts of codes are treated properly so you can keep web user satisfaction up along with holding onto any SEO benefits associated with your site.

4xx (Client Errors)

4xx status codes refer to client mistakes, demonstrating that the request has incorrect syntax or can’t be satisfied by the server. Monitoring and resolving these issues is important for avoiding an adverse effect on user experience, website speed, as well as search engine rankings. Fixing these errors may require changing faulty links, rectifying URL structures or enforcing necessary access management practices in order to avoid unwanted requests from unauthorised individuals. Keeping a check of 4xx error messages ensures you maintain your site’s good performance with improved usability whilst gaining a higher ranking in relevant searches.

5xx (Server Errors)

When 5xx status codes appear, it signifies an issue from the server side, which was unable to fulfil a valid request. These can come about due to various reasons, such as overload or misconfiguration on the server, and may result in drastically lower performance for your website, plus poor rankings with search engines.

Identifying what caused these errors is essential if you want optimal accessibility of your webpage both by users and also those that use searching algorithms like Google & Bing. Finding solutions quickly is necessary to keep up the reliability and success rate of visitors/searches respectively.

Essential Website Status Codes for SEO

Higher rankings on search engines, on both Google and other platforms, can be improved by implementing appropriate SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) techniques such as keyword research and meta tags. Search engine marketing is also a great way to enhance your website’s visibility in organic results. Website status codes are critical for the optimisation process too – particularly: 200 OK, 301 Moved Permanently, 404 Not Found or 500 Internal Server Error since they affect performance, user experience & how successful your web pages are at being discovered by search engines.

200 OK

200 OK status codes signal successful HTTP requests, an essential factor in helping search engines crawl and index web pages. As long as a webpage has a 200 OK code, it is viewed to be running well and providing users with what they are looking for. Thus leading them up the SERPs, resulting in more organic traffic.

301 Moved Permanently

The 301 Moved Permanently status code is used to inform search engines that a particular page has been relocated permanently, thereby preserving the website’s SEO value and link equity. Implementing this type of redirect can help maintain the ranking power as well as ensure that both users and search engine visibility are taken to the new URL even when there is a change in its address.

404 Not Found

status code 404 web page

404 Not Found errors can have a detrimental effect on both user experience and SEO if not carefully managed. This type of error causes confusion and frustration in visitors, leading to potential abandonment of your website. Search engines may adversely impact your site’s rankings when too many 404s are encountered, as it reduces visibility within the results pages.

To prevent this scenario from occurring, monitoring for broken links is key. Updating or removing them appropriately should be done to enhance overall performance and better preserve SEO output while also improving customer satisfaction with their browsing journey through your site.

500 Internal Server Error

The 500 Internal Server Error is an issue that lies with the server, potentially causing problems for both search engine crawling and indexing as well as user experience. This error can be caused by various issues, such as incorrect configurations of the server, exceeding its resource limits or technical difficulties.

In order to effectively address this error, one must determine what triggered it in the first place and then take action accordingly. All of this aims at delivering optimal performance while allowing access to users but also ensuring visibility through search engines.

Monitoring and Managing Website Status Codes

Google Search Console can help optimise your website’s SEO performance and user experience by monitoring the status codes, implementing redirects for changed page URLs, and fixing broken links. All these are key in maintaining a seamless online presence that shows up when users do Google searches.

Using Google Search Console

Google Search Console is a useful platform that enables you to closely monitor and manage the status of your website. With it, you can detect any potential SEO issues related to these codes – such as crawl errors and bad links – so they can be addressed immediately for better search engine rankings. This tool not only provides insights into performance but also allows webmasters to set up redirects or fix broken links in order to maximise visibility on Google searches. In sum, utilising this instrument helps guarantee an optimal online experience when visitors access your site from various search engines.

Implementing Redirects

301 redirect status code

It is essential to employ redirects like the 301 Moved Permanently code in order to protect SEO quality and provide a consistent user experience when there are shifts in page URLs. Redirecting ensures that link equity remains preserved while simultaneously notifying search engines and users of the new URL, allowing them both to amend their records accordingly.

Adopting good practices for redirection will maintain your website’s visibility on search engine platforms as well as optimise its ranking power, all leading to improved SEO performance overall.

Fixing Broken Links

Website Error 500. Internal Server Error

Identifying and fixing broken links is essential to ensure your website works effectively, provides an optimal user experience, and gets the best search engine ranking. With Google Search Console, you can easily pinpoint these issues so that 404 Not Found errors are avoided.

Taking a proactive approach by conducting regular checks on internal hyperlinks as well as keeping track of any changes in URL structure with redirects, will help prevent such link mishaps from happening again. As such, having up-to-date information ensures that visitors have a satisfactory web journey while helping optimise it for higher search engine results positions as well.

Advanced Status Codes and Troubleshooting

This section will explore the 410 Gone and 503 Service Unavailable status codes, along with steps to address them. This should help optimise performance and SEO for your website.

We have already discussed vital status codes that are essential for improving search engine rankings, but this guide delves deeper into other more complex errors that require Troubleshooting strategies in order to be rectified effectively.

410 Gone

The 410 Gone status code tells search engines that a requested resource is no longer available. It can be used to get the page removed from their index and indicate it has been intentionally taken down, as well as instructing them not to attempt crawling or indexing anymore.

By correctly utilising this status code, you ensure your SEO results are improved since only relevant content will now be indexed by these search engines.

503 Service Unavailable

The 503 Service Unavailable status code is used by search engines to know when they should retry a request at a later time. This response indicates that the server cannot currently handle it and may be due to maintenance or some other short-term issue. Managing this status correctly, as well as resolving any underlying issues promptly, can help lessen the effect of temporary downtime on SEO rankings and site performance.


By paying attention to website status codes, utilising redirects and fixing broken links, you can maximise your site’s performance for SEO success. Good search engine rankings depend on properly monitoring the codes. Doing so helps create a better user experience as well as boosting your page ranking in online searches. It is important to remain proactive when tackling issues with website statuses. That way, you will be more likely to achieve desired results in terms of increased visibility from search engines.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are website status codes?

The W3C has put in place website status codes, which are sent to a browser by the server hosting a webpage. These messages communicate whether or not an action requested of the site can be fulfilled and appear within the HTTP header on that page.

What are 200 status codes?

HTTP status code 200 signifies a successful outcome when accessing web pages and resources, which is sent as an indication that the server has responded to a request by creating or modifying the resource. This means everything went according to plan with no errors in regards to the method of HTTP being used.

How can I use Google Search Console to identify and fix broken links?

Google Search Console can be beneficial in pinpointing and correcting broken links. It does so by following status codes plus scrutinising the ‘Coverage’ segment for URLs labelled as mistakes.

What’s the difference between a 301 Moved Permanently and a 302 Found (Moved Temporarily) status code?

A 301 Moved Permanently status code signals a permanent redirection which maintains SEO value, while a 302 Found (Moved Temporarily) status code signals a temporary redirection, which may not maintain SEO value.

How can I troubleshoot and fix a 500 Internal Server Error?

To address a 500 Internal Server Error, review server logs and examine configurations. Deactivate any plugins or themes that may be causing an issue and clear your browser’s cache/cookies. Search for syntax errors in the PHP code used on the website.

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