404 Error: How To Fix It Before Google Deals With You!

Every site, including mine, has once in a while encountered a 404 error. It is dreadful, yes, but at times it is in unavoidable. You don’t know what this error is all about? No need worry. Let me explain so that we can be on the same page.

Anytime you mistype the URL of a page, click on a broken link or a page that longer exist, what you get is what we are referring to as a 404 error.

And as much as it annoys you because you terribly needed the information on that page, Google, too, hates it and they do not tolerate that.

Broken errors will drop a site’s rankings within a very short time.

Where Does A 404 Error Comes From?

Well, there are a couple of things that causes 404 error, and I believe you have the power over them. Even though some people claim that some issues are too complex to handle such as hosting company issues, I believe there are ways to solve a 404 error.

404 error

You see, there are many reliable and professional hosting companies and siteGround is one of them and it is what I use. That to me means that a broken link issue that is as a result of poor hosting company’s server has a solution, right?

Broken links could also be as a result of changing the URL of a particular page then failing to redirect that page. This is fatal, and you will pay for it. You don’t have to wait for such trouble with Google. Redirect the page as soon as you change the URL.

The other thing is that if you do not renew your hosting services, then you will be a victim of 404 errors.

However, there are a couple of names used to refer to the 404 error. These include Error 404 Not Found, 404 Resource not found, 404 Page Not Found, HTTP 404, the requested URL [URL] was not found on this server, 404 File or Directory Not Found.

Now that you know the causes of broken links errors, how do you go about solving them  (maybe even for good!)?

There are a couple of ways of fixing the 404 error issues. Let’s check them out;

How Do You Fix a 404 Error?

Refresh The Page

Reloading the website should be the first thing before you judge the possible reasons the 404 error is showing. I have often seen this in the past with my site. Of course, you know how this error can cause panic and confusion especially if you know that the 404 error is one of the reasons that will cause Google to penalize your site, right?

But before you throw your hands on your head, refresh your page.

f5 404 error If there are no issues with the site, refreshing will sort out the issues.

Otherwise, the error will persist.

What do you do before you start sweating thinking that your site is down?

Correct The Address (If It Is Incorrect)

Sometimes when typing at high speed or with a mind that is too much occupied, there is a high probability of missing some letters when typing the URL of a site you may be searching for.

For example, I missed some letters when typing the URL of one of the pages on my site and pap; a 404 error popped out.

404 Error from incorrect url

That is why it is necessary to look at the URL and ensure that it is correct. Correct the URL then try again.  If the spelling is okay, but the error persists, it is time to get your other device like the mobile phone and try accessing the site.

Change The DNS Server

In some cases, your site could be loading normally on other computers or mobile phones but not your computer. That is why, when you persistently note the 404 error each time you try to access your site or a particular page, before you act, try to access it using another device. That could be your iPad and mobile phone.

If by any chance the site is loading on any of these (or any other) device, then the issue is with the DNS server.

DNS 404 errorIt could be that the ISP is blocking access to that website or webpage. It could also be that their DNS servers have issues.  Whatever the reason, you need to deal with the 404 error, asap. It is annoying, right?

So, what do you do?


Flush the DNS immediately. That way, the DNS cache will be deleted thus resolving the issue. If that does not work, then change the DNS servers since there are a variety of them. And…You can go by the free ones or the public DNS servers.

Delete Cache

Oh, and cache can be irritating at times. When is the last time you cleared cache on your system? What about deleting cookies? If you do not remember, know now that you need to clear your site’s cache and cookies before you read on.

clear cache error 404Cache could be the probable issue you are encountering the 404 error if especially you are able to access the site from another device like a computer in a cyber.

If none of the ways discussed above works, then a serious action needs to be taken, engage the hosting company.

Check If The Site Is Up

A site that is down will definitely cause a 404 error.

So, first, check if your site is up or down. Depending on the tool you are using, you will be notified if the site is down or up.

See the screen shot below showing results for my site.

404 error site upIf it is down, then the solution is none other but contacting your hosting company. We know that at times inevitable issues happen and such could be the case with your hosting company. Nevertheless, once you contact them, they should give immediate support and remedy.

If they do not, it is time to “pack and go.”

Change The Hosting Company

This is one issue I have heard most of my trainees complain about after they try to seek hosting services from a cheap company and days later they can’t access the site. That is why you need to invest enough before starting a self-hosted WordPress blog. If you seek help from the company hosting you and they do not amend the issue or the issue resumes after a couple of days, it is time to seek a different hosting company before your rankings drop.

Over To you

You can choose to have the 404 error destroy your online dreams if you do not deal with them accordingly. The good thing is to keep an eye on your site every now and then to ensure that they are not there. Also, in case you change the URL of any site or page, be kind to yourself, redirect the page or website to the new URL.

Where you identify that there is a broken link, correct immediately.

Was this article helpful? What other topic would you want me to cover?

High-Quality Backlinks: How To Turn Your Content Into Backlinks

Highquality backlinks

Let’s start here: What are backlinks? Any links from other websites to your site are called backlinks. You may also call them inbound or external links. Backlink, just as the name implies, is having another website link back to your site.

But why will anyone want to link back to your site?

People will backlink to your site because they see your content is helpful, informative, resourceful and the like.

What more? If many sites link back to you, Google will automatically know that your content is high quality.

Is Backlinking Crucial?

You see, there are various factors that Google considers when ranking a site. However, there are three major ones. They include the quality of content, backlinks, and rackbrain. In case you do not know what rackbrain is, Here’s an article by backlinko on RackBrain.

If backlinking is a significant consideration by Google when determining where to rank your site, don’t you think it is crucial to consider the quality of backlinks you are using?

See, Google can decide to penalize your site, lower the site’s rankings or rank your site top depending on the quality of backlinks you are using.

As a matter of fact, John Mueller, who is a Google’s representative, affirms that link building can harm your website.

So, choose not to hurt your website’s ranking. How? Don’t just use backlinks; use relevant and high-quality backlinks.

How Do You Differentiate The High Quality From The Poor Quality Backlinks?


Here’s what to ask yourself so as to verify if it is a high-quality backlink.

  1. Does the site have high authority?
  2. Is the site’s niche related to your site?
  3. Have they linked to your site before?
  4. Does the link’s anchor text have your target keyword?
  5. Is the link a dofollow link?

Firstly, NEVER ignore the authority of the site linking back to you. It is crucial. And there’s a tool for that, Ahrefs. Remember, the higher the domain rate (DR), the higher the authority of the site.

Secondly, consider the niche. Is there any relation between the site linking back to you and your site? If there isn’t, then that isn’t a good site to backlink to. It is good to share links with people of the same niche to ensure that those who read your content are people interested in it.

Now, it is not wrong to backlink to only one authority site. But do you think that will do your site much good like having several backlinks from various high authority sites? Definitely not.

Use of keyword shouldn’t be emphasized only when writing content for your blog but also when considering backlinks. So, consider if the link’s anchor text has your target keyword. This will highly increase your rankings.

What about DoFollow links? Let me first explain what they are. These are links that search engine and Google follows so as to reach to the linked site. This shows the authority from the site to the linked site. And…if several reputable sites are linking back to your site; Google will consider your site as a high-value site thus rank it. That’s awesome, right?

Avoid Short Cuts:They Will Harm You

Now, most people, especially new bloggers will sometimes attempt to use black hat SEO so as to rank fast.

But listen to me. ..

There are consequences, and Google is a no joker.

You can play around with words but not with Google.

Google can penalize your site, blacklist it or drop your rankings.

Some bloggers have tried it, and they now attest that it is better to use the safe root (white hat) and arrive years later than use short cuts (black hat) then arrive tomorrow but lose the site the next minute. Jon Morrow of Smart Blogger confirms that he was once a victim.

Here is what he says, “One day, I was on the first page for the term “real estate investment,” raking in a few hundred visitors per day, and the next, my site was just gone. I could still access it by typing in the URL, but the steady stream of search traffic stopped. Completely.”

Actually, Google just blacklisted his site. Do you want to suffer the same consequences?

So, why not learn from such people and escape trouble?

Let‘s divert a little bit so that I can explain what the black hat and white hat is all about.

What Is The Difference Between The Black And White Hat SEO?

Black hat is when you link your site to sites that have a domain authority that is of low quality. It also involves linking to sites that are inactive or spam. One thing with people who always want to use a short cut is that they will never get enough of anything. That means; they will try to link to as many inactive, spam or low quality links as possible.

My friend, you are driving yourself to the “slaughterhouse.” When your rankings drop, you will know that you are already done!

When Google gets hold of you, your site may never rank again after dropping. Of course, no blogger wants to experience that, right?

On the other hand, white hat involves linking to sites with a high-authority domain and building backlinks.

So, How Do You Turn Your Content Into Quality Backlinks?

Provide Pure Gold

I can’t overemphasize writing high-quality content. There is no other way to win in freelancing if you do not produce high-quality content which is what I’m referring to as pure-gold and that is why I have given it a priority. You see, people reach to you because you are providing pure-gold. Or would you want to backlink to some poor content with grammatical issues and plagiarism? Won’t you share the consequences when Mr. Google comes along?  So, you too provide quality and that way; you will have people request to backlink to your site.

The other thing you need to consider is what your competitors are focusing on in your niche. Provide better than them in terms of quality and quantity. Include images where they did not include to ensure that people visiting your site get a better understanding of your content.

This is what I’m trying to tell you. If your competitor has written a 1000 words content, write a 1500 words content without compromising on quality.  If he has used five images, use more but relevant, clear, and catchy ones.

The other thing is the title. Get a better and catchy title. What more? Consider his Meta description as well as a title tag. Use better ones.

It is all about competing with him and ranking higher than him on Google search engine, right?

No matter how long your competitor has been blogging; if you use high-quality backlinks, you can catch up with him, go beyond and stay top of him.

Related post: https://mary-peter.com/why-your-articles-are-not-ranking-number-one-on-google/

Build Relationships

Oh yes, you need to announce your existence through the various social media platforms. I mean, you are only starting and you need to create awareness.

That being said; get active on social media. I have done this, and I have seen the impact. Start by creating social media accounts (if you do not have them) such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Quora, and the like.

Next, connect or network with influencers and other bloggers in your niche.

When they post on social media; comment and answer any questions their followers are asking.

When answering, share resourceful, helpful and irresistible content. Next, if you have a blog post on the same thing or one that relates to what you are posting, share the link. When people read the comment and see it is helpful, they will want to read the blog post too.

Eventually, bloggers and influencers will want to hook up with you. They will link back to you, and you may as well link back to them.

Create An Infographic

Did you know that most researchers are lazy readers? I mean, they want quick access to information. However, even if they are lazy readers, you can still have them get all the information you want. How? Create an infographic. You see, you can use a chart or a diagram to give the same information you could have given through a thousand words, right?

Brian of Backlinko uses Infographics many times, and there is something I love about them. They are well detailed. Check out one of them here. You will definitely love it.

You are definitely not a guru in this.

All right.

Don’t pull your hair.

There are a couple of softwares that can help you create an infographic?

Here they are: visme.co, easel.ly, piktochart, venngage, infogr.am, and the like.

The determining factor of the right one to use is whether you are on a budget or you need access to a free one.

Do A Detailed Research

I have always encouraged others, especially my trainees to do what I do when I’m researching. That is, in-depth research. Open as many links as possible unless you are writing a very short post. Is that all? No, you need to come up with original content after the research.

I have often heard this, “Do to others as you would want them to do to you.” With that in mind and knowing the consequences of plagiarism, do not copy other people’s content if you would not want anyone to do the same to your content.

Better still, is providing content that is not available anywhere on the internet.

Really? Yes.

Where do you get such stuff? Personal experience.

Personally, I have written content out of personal experience.

Bad or good experiences are a lesson that others can learn from you. Write them down and teach the world.

The latter is even better because when people get such content on your site and nowhere else, you remain to be the only site they can backlink to and that way you end up with so many backlinks. Isn’t that fantastic?

Go ahead, try it.

Guest Post

Guest posting is one way of shouting your name to an audience that doesn’t know you. How do you go about guest blogging? Already, you have a website and have a particular niche that you specialize in, right?

Now, reach out to other high-quality sites in your niche. Be intelligent enough to prove to your target website how guest posting is going to benefit them.

Remember, though you are looking for a way to get backlinks, don’t compromise by providing low-quality content.

However, you’ve got to remember it is a guest post. So, be on the lookout of how they write content including how they format it. Keep the trend. Also, identify the needs of the owners of the site and the site visitors.

Provide solutions in your posts. You can even carry out a survey by looking at the comments in that site. Identify the challenges the site visitors are facing and the questions they are asking.

Write content that addresses all those issues. Let your content be free of grammatical issues and plagiarism.

Be A Regular Contributor

I have mentioned about social media previously in this article. Now, once you create social media accounts, become a regular contributor. I mean; don’t just comment/ post content today then call it over because some people started following you. If you do not persist in contributing, people will forget you. Again, every day new people are joining social media. If you do not participate regularly, the new social media account owners will not know you.

Remember to stick to quality each time you contribute.

Write Testimonials For Other Websites

Writing testimonials for other sites doesn’t go down so well. Not even in me. That’s a fact.

But there’s a secret for doing this that many still do not know. When writing a testimonial for your competitor, you will also have a chance to add a link to your site after your name, right?

Do not just focus on others excelling because of your good testimonial. See, as they excel, you will also be generating backlinks, right?

So, go right ahead.

Point To Note

See, it is not as difficult as you thought it is to build high-quality backlinks. It is easy. Yes, it may take time, but the better way is to go through the safe channel, white hat SEO. The good thing, however, is that once you get to the top of the Google search engine, the rest is history.

I’m not saying that it ends there. No, of course, persistent is the way to go. You keep on following the tactics I have given you here every now and then. Nevertheless, do not forget to keep yourself updated with Google Algorithms which keep on changing.

That’s all.


But just before you go…

Please tell me, have you applied any of the strategies I have mentioned in this article and seen it work?