Step 2.19: Accessibility
Basic Concepts | On-Page | Navigation
Direct Ranking Factor: Critical
Accessibility refers to the status code that a page returns. What we mean by this is that when your web browser makes a request to a server to access a webpage; it returns a status code that determines whether it could get the page or not, and if not, why not.
Status code are 3-digit numbers, for example ‘200’ basically means the page is accessible, no problem. A status ‘404’ means the page could not be found, you will have seen this at some point when click a link and end up with an apology that the page could not be found.
In SEO we use these ‘status codes’ to determine problems with pages across a site. They fall into the following groups:
- 2XX = Accessible
- 3XX = the page redirects to another page
- 4XX = page not found errors
- 5XX = Server response (you may be restricted from seeing this resource by a server, or the server has returned an error)
Why is this Important?
If a page is not accessible, then it will not appear in the SERPs… So, if you want your page to be either visited by a person or appear in the SERPs, it needs to be accessible.
The 400 and 500 status codes are often referred to as broken links. Mostly because you can only find them through following a link and it is returning one of these status’. A broken link is a link that is not working, in that it points to a page that is either not there and not accessible.
These are bad for a site for a number of reasons and should be avoided.
These are as follows:
- Avoid 4XX status codes
- Avoid 5XX status codes
- Minimise 3XX status codes
- Avoid broken links