More On Header Status Codes & SEO

  • 1.5K
More On Header Status Codes & SEO

I have already reviewed tools to check header HTTP headers and also listed a few must-know things about most widely-used of them.

A while ago Google Wemaster Central Blog published some advice on using header status code for Googlebot to understand each page correctly:

  • make sure your site URLs return the correct status code;
  • track what status code Google receives with help of Google Webmaster tools.

Over time I have been coming across some more useful status code related discussions and wanted to summarize them here:

  • Use 503 (“Service Unavailable”) headers response if your site goes above bandwidth:

The server is currently unable to handle the request due to a temporary overloading or maintenance of the server. The implication is that this is a temporary condition which will be alleviated after some delay. If known, the length of the delay may be indicated in a Retry-After header.

  • It is recommended to use 304 status code (“Not Modified”) for pages that were not updated to economize on Google crawl budget. This will most probably result in deeper and more frequent crawling of the site.
  • Be very careful with 302 (“Found”) status code:

The requested resource resides temporarily under a different URI.

Googlers are reported to have advised to use only in case when redirect is placed for no more than 1 week. Otherwise, it is safer to use 301 (“Moved Permanently”) even for temporal redirects.


Subscribe to SEJ

Get our daily newsletter from SEJ's Founder Loren Baker about the latest news in the industry!


Ann Smarty

Brand amd Community Manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas

Ann Smarty is the blogger and community manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas. Ann's expertise in blogging and tools serve as ... [Read full bio]

Read the Next Article
Read the Next