Can A Missing Page Hurt Your Website SEO

Can A Missing Page Hurt Your Website SEO?

If you have a website, it’s important to make sure all your pages are active and working properly. A missing page can have negative effects on your website’s SEO. 

In this blog post, we’ll explore the reasons why a missing page can hurt your website’s SEO and what you can do to avoid these issues.


The Effects of a Missing Page on Website SEO

A missing page can hurt your website in more ways than one

Fig. 1. A missing page can hurt your website in more ways than one

1. Hurt your website’s ranking in search engines

Search engines like Google use algorithms to rank websites in their search results. These algorithms take many factors into account, including the number of active pages on a website. 

If your website has one or more missing pages, it could hurt your ranking in search results. Search engines will see your website as having less content than other websites. As a result, your website will be less likely to show up in search results, and you’ll miss out on potential traffic and customers.

2. Result in lost revenue 

If you have an eCommerce website, a missing page can result in lost revenue. Potential customers will be unable to purchase the products or services they’re interested in if they can’t find the relevant pages on your website. Additionally, if you have ads on your website, a missing page means you’ll miss out on potential ad revenue. 

3. Lower your overall score 

When search engine crawlers come to index your website, they’re looking for a complete picture. If one page is missing, it signals to the crawler that something might be wrong with your website as a whole. This can lead to a lower overall score for your website, which in turn can lead to lower search engine rankings.

In addition to looking for quality, search engine crawlers are also looking for quantity when they index websites. The more pages they can crawl and index, the better. If you have a missing page, that’s one less page the crawlers can index, which could hurt your website’s SEO. This could lead to further penalties down the road, such as having your website de-indexed entirely. 

4. Missing out on valuable keywords 

Each webpage on your website offers an opportunity to target specific keywords and phrases. If you’re missing a page, you’re missing out on an opportunity to rank for those keywords and increase your visibility in search results. 

5. Harming user experience 

If you have a missing page on your website, it can lead to broken links. When someone clicks on a bad link, they’ll be taken to an error page instead of the intended destination. This gives visitors a bad user experience, which could lead them to leave your website altogether. 

Similarly, when users come to your website looking for something specific and they can’t find it, they’re likely to get frustrated and leave without converting. Not only does this mean you lose out on a potential customer or client, but it also signals to search engines that your website isn’t providing a good user experience, which could hurt your SEO even further. 

How to Fix a Missing Page on Your Website

Fixing a missing page is easier than dealing with the consequences of not fixing it

Fig. 2. Fixing a missing page is easier than dealing with the consequences of not fixing it


The First Step: Check for Any Broken Links 

The first step you should take when you notice a missing page on your website is to check for any broken links. If there are any broken links on your site, search engines will be unable to find your pages and will instead display an error message. To check for broken links, you can use a tool like Google Search Console. Once you’ve found any broken links, you’ll need to redirect them to the correct pages on your site. 

The Second Step: Find out Why the Page is Missing 

The second step you should take is to find out why the page is missing in the first place. The most common reason for a page to go missing is that it has been deleted or removed from the server. However, there could be other reasons why the page is missing, such as if the URL has been changed or if the page has been moved to a different location on the server. Once you’ve determined why the page is missing, you’ll be able to take steps to fix the issue. 

The Third Step: Restore or Recreate the Missing Page 

The third and final step is to restore or recreate the missing page on your website. If you have a backup of the missing page, you can simply upload it to your server and replace the broken link with the correct URL. However, if you don’t have a backup of the missing page, you’ll need to recreate it from scratch. To do this, simply create a new page with similar content to the original and then add it to your sitemap. You’ll also need to update any internal links on your site that point to the original page. Once you’ve taken these steps, your website’s SEO should be back on track

Special Mention: Use a 301 Redirect

The best way to fix a missing page is to create a 301 redirect. A 301 redirect is a permanent redirect from one URL to another. When you create a 301 redirect for a missing page, you’re essentially telling search engines that the page has moved and provided them with the new URL. This helps ensure that your site’s ranking isn’t affected and that people who try to visit the old URL will be taken to the new one automatically. 

To create a 301 redirect, you’ll need to edit your .htaccess file. This file is located in the root directory of your website (you may need to ask your web host for help if you’re unsure where this is). Once you’ve found the file, add the following line of code: Redirect 301 /old-url /new-url 

Of course, you’ll need to replace “old-url” with the actual URL of the missing page and “new-url” with the URL of the page you want people to be redirected to. Once you’ve added this line of code and saved the file, the 301 redirect will be live and working! 


Tips for Keeping Your Website’s SEO in Top Shape

Keep your website in top shape

Fig. 3. Keep your website in top shape

A website is like a house; if even one page is missing, it can have a big impact on the overall structure. The same goes for your website’s SEO. If you have even one missing page, it can hurt your rankings and visibility in search engines. Here are some tips for keeping your website’s SEO in top shape and avoiding missing pages.

1. Keep your site map up-to-date

Your site map is an important tool for both website visitors and search engine crawlers. It helps visitors find what they’re looking for on your website, and it tells search engines which pages on your site are most important. That’s why it’s important to keep your site map up-to-date; if a page is missing from your site map, search engines may not be able to find it, and visitors may get frustrated trying to find what they’re looking for.

2. Use redirects carefully

If you need to delete a page from your website, make sure to use a redirect so that anyone who tries to visit the old URL will be automatically redirected to the new URL. This ensures that both visitors and search engines can still find what they’re looking for, even if the page has been moved or deleted. However, be careful not to overuse redirects, as this can also hurt your SEO; only use them when absolutely necessary.

3. Check for broken links regularly

Broken links are bad for both visitors and search engines. They make it hard for visitors to find the information they’re looking for, and they tell search engines that your website is out-of-date and poorly maintained. That’s why it’s important to check for broken links regularly and fix them as soon as possible. You can use a tool to crawl your website and look for broken links; just be sure to exclude any pages that you know are intentionally redirected (like 404 pages).

4. Monitor your Google Search Console data

Regularly Google Search Console is a free tool that shows you how Google views your website. It includes data on things like sitemaps, broken links, and indexing issues. This data can be helpful in identifying problems with your website that could be affecting your SEO negatively. Be sure to check your Google Search Console data regularly so you can address any issues as soon as possible.

5. Track your website ranking

A missing page does hurt your website ranking, and the best way to monitor this is through a rank-tracking tool like ProRankTracker. ProRankTracker can monitor any changes in your website rankings and notify you immediately, so you can take action to fix them. When you find that your rank is dropping, you can quickly check if it’s missing pages that are hurting your SERP position.

ProRankTracker is a highly specialized rank-tracking and reporting solution used by SEO professionals and agencies worldwide. We offer the most accurate algorithm for rank-tracking and comprehensive reports to make it easier for you to swiftly take action and adjust your SEO strategies to get the best results.

Try ProRankTracker today for FREE!