Wondering what’s the difference between 301 vs. 404 redirects? Are you confused about when you should use a 301 redirect vs. a 404 redirect?
Below is a short and helpful guide that will help you navigate between the two.
Differences between 301 and 404:
A 404 Not Found means that the user was able to communicate with the server, but the server could not find anything matching the request. The web site hosting server will typically generate a “404 Not Found” web page when a user attempts to follow a broken or dead link. A 404 error implies that the requested URL may be available again in the future, but not necessarily with the same content.
A 301 Moved Permanently Redirect is used when a requested resource has been moved permanently to a new URL and any future references to this resource should use one of the returned URLs. Google recommends using a 301 redirect to change the URL of a page as it is shown in search engine results.
Use a 301 if:
there is an alternative page (not your homepage!) on your website for the page/url you are removing.
Use a 404 if:
there is no alternative page on your website for the page/url you are removing.