A 404 page is what a user sees when they try to reach a non-existent page on your site. This may happen if they've clicked a broken link, the page has been deleted, or they've mistyped a URL.
You can rely on your server to return a standard 404 page, but it might not be attractive, and won't be branded with your website. A custom 404 page can be branded with your site and provide helpful information
If you have access to your server, we recommend that you create a custom 404 page. A good custom 404 page helps people find the information they're looking for, and also provides other helpful content that encourages people to explore your site further.
Because a 404 page can also be a standard HTML page, you can customize it any way you want. Here are some suggestions for creating an effective 404 page that can help keep visitors on your site and find the information they're looking for:
- Tell visitors clearly that the page they're looking for can't be found. Use language that is friendly and inviting.
- Make sure your 404 page uses the same look and feel (including navigation) as the rest of your site.
- Consider adding links to your most popular articles or posts, as well as a link to your site's home page.
- Think about providing a way for users to report a broken link.
- No matter how beautiful and useful your custom 404 page is, you probably don't want it to appear in Google search results. To prevent 404 pages from being indexed by Google and other search engines, make sure that your web server returns an actual 404 HTTP status code when a missing page is requested.
- Use the Change of Address tool to tell Google about your site move.