Understanding HTTP SEO code: Everything you need to know in 10 points

by our SEO Agency Optimize 360

HTTP code

HTTP code is an essential part of how the Internet works.

It enables communication between servers and clients, such as web browsers.

When it comes to search engine optimisation (SEO), understanding HTTP codes can help to diagnose and resolve problems that affect a site's performance and its ranking in search results. In particular Google.

In this article, we'll look at 10 important aspects of HTTP SEO code that you need to know.

HTTP code

1. What is HTTP code?

HTTP stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol and is the protocol used to transmit data over the Web. HTTP codes are three-digit numerical codes that represent the server's response to a request made by a client. Each code provides information about the result of a request, indicating whether it succeeded or failed, and providing details about the state of the connection between the client and the server.

2. Why are HTTP codes important for SEO?

HTTP codes play an important role in SEO as they inform search engines of the status of a web page and/or its resources. By examining HTTP codes, search engines can determine whether a page is accessible, whether it should be indexed, or whether it has errors that need to be corrected. A better understanding of HTTP codes can help SEO specialists identify and resolve problems that prevent a site from ranking well in search results.

3. The main types of HTTP code

There are five main classes of HTTP code, each representing a specific category of response:

  1. 1xx (Informational) The request has been received, and the server continues the process.
  2. 2xx (Success) The request has been successfully accepted and processed. A common example is code 200 OK.
  3. 3xx (Redirection) The client must perform other actions to complete the request. The 301 redirects and 302.
  4. 4xx (Client-side error) The request contains incorrect syntax or cannot be satisfied by the server. 404 Not Found errors are a type of this code.
  5. 5xx (Server-side error) The server has failed to process a valid request. Code 500 Internal Server Error is an example of this category.

4. Some examples of HTTP codes that are important for SEO

  • 200 OK This is the most common code and means that everything has gone correctly. The requested page has been found and returned to the client.
  • 301 Moved Permanently : Indicates that a page has been permanently moved to a new location. URL. This informs the search engines that the old URL must be removed from their index and replaced by the new one.
  • 302 Found (or Moved Temporarily) redirect: Means that a page has been temporarily moved to a new URL. Unlike a 301 redirect, search engines will continue to index the old URL.
  • 404 Not Found The server has not found the page you requested. 404 errors can be detrimental to theuser experience and search engine rankings if they are not resolved.
  • 500 Internal Server Error Generic error indicating a problem on the server that prevents the requested page from being retrieved.

5. How can you check your site's HTTP codes?

To check a site's HTTP codes, you can use various online tools, such as the HTTP status code checker or different SEO software packages that include this functionality. You can also consult your server logs to examine HTTP codes, or use browser extensions such as the Google Chrome to inspect the codes for each request made by the browser.

6. Common errors in HTTP SEO code

There are a number of common HTTP code errors that can affect a site's SEO:

  • Dead or broken links These errors lead to pages that generate a 404 Not Found code, damaging the user experience and potentially your search engine ranking. Finding and correcting these links is essential to improving the quality of your site.
  • Inefficient/incorrect redirections  Poorly configured redirects (e.g. a chain of multiple redirects) can slow down page load times and harm your referencing. Make sure you use the right type of redirect (301 or 302) and set up an effective redirect management system.
  • Inaccessible pages If your server encounters a technical problem, it may return a code 500 Internal Server Error or another type of server-side error. This can prevent search engines from accessing your pages and reduce your visibility on search engines.

7. The impact of HTTP codes on page load times

The effective use of HTTP codes can have a significant impact on the loading time of your site's pages. For example, correctly implemented redirects can help preserve site performance while avoiding potential problems associated with duplicate content. On the other hand, poor management of HTTP codes can slow down page display, damage the user experience and reduce the likelihood of good search engine rankings.

8. How can I resolve problems with HTTP codes?

To correct problems with HTTP codes, it is essential to first diagnose the specific problem using the tools mentioned above. Once you have identified the errors, take action to :

  • Update the links on your site and your backlinks to avoid 404 errors
  • Configure redirects correctly to minimise the number of jumps and improve page load times
  • Work with your technical/server team to resolve problems that lead to server-side errors (5xx codes)

9. HTTP code and accessibility for the disabled

HTTP codes also affect the accessibility of the website for people with disabilities, such as screen reader users. For example, a website containing frequent 404 errors can be difficult to navigate for these users. By resolving problems with HTTP code, you can improve the accessibility of your website and provide an optimal user experience for all visitors.

10. Conclusion: master HTTP codes to improve your SEO

In summary, understanding HTTP code can help you optimise your website for search engines and deliver an exceptional user experience. By keeping in mind common problems with HTTP code and using appropriate tools to check and resolve them, you can give your site a competitive edge in search engine rankings and increase its success online.

blank Digital Performance Accelerator for SMEs