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    SEO Chat Skiller (1500 - 1999 posts)

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    Link juice with a 404


    Had a thought this morning.

    With big websites where there are untold amount of links coming in to wrong destinations. Would all of the link juice hitting these urls then be passed through the links on the actual 404 page. Essentially does google only pass juice on 200 status pages, or will it pass juice through the links on your custom 404 page?

    Obviously with it being so hard to get all the 404 urls it might be a good way to retain the link juice without having to do a 301 redirect.
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    SEO Chat Skiller (1500 - 1999 posts)

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    I take it no one has any thoughts on this? Logically i would say it wouldn't pass the juice, but perhaps if Google knows its a custom 404 page it may let it carry the juice through?
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    SEO Chat Genius (4000 - 4499 posts)

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    Thats an interesting thought.

    One thing I always look at when taking on a new site is how many external links there are pointing to non existant pages and generating 404s. I create a 301 to the most relevant page therefore taking advantage of the link juice that was being wasted.

    I am not sure if it does count though.

    We could do a test on this. If we put a 404 page on any given site and put a link to another site and then checked the Google WMT back links.

    If the link from the 404 page shows up, then it must be counting towards its link juice and being bennefiical.

    Another point on 404 pages - a custom 404 page should always be used if the server will support it.
    Bearing in mind the user gets the page in error, it makes sense ot have a search box in a prominent place so you stand a higher chance of retaining the visitor.
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    SEO Chat Skiller (1500 - 1999 posts)

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    Yep all valid. The one thing i want to do as well as also obtaining my visitor is retaining my backlink. I mean finding all the 404 pages on a 100k paged website is not a pleasant task. hundreds of people will link to you incorrectly contantly, it would become a full time job on its own to find these files as and when google decide to update the webmaster tools

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