Host ranking factors for SEO site audit

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Today I want to tell you about the part of the site audit that relates to checking host factors. We will look at the correctness of using redirects on the site, checking the correctness of using pages with 4** response codes, analyzing a page with a 404 code, and also how to fix the errors found.

The correctness of the use of redirects on the site

If redirects are configured incorrectly on your site, this can lead to a loss of static weight, a change in landing pages, and the site falling out of the index. And consequently, to the deterioration of the ranking of the site.

Errors that can lead to this:

  • Using multi-step redirects (if possible, it is better to avoid such redirects so that they work faster and transfer the maximum link weight). An example of a standard error: → 301 redirect to → 301 redirect to Truby-art-123
  • Using the wrong type of redirect (for example, instead of a 301 redirect, a temporary 302 is used). Although search engines now understand and rank them equally, anyway, when moving a site from http to https or from one domain to another (for example, when buying a TM in Ukraine, the site can go to the .ua domain zone), it is better to use 301 redirect.
  • Using a redirect instead of rel=”canonical”, or using a refresh meta tag instead of a 301 redirect.
  • Application of any redirects for txt.
  • Redirect to an external resource from an internal link.
  • Redirect to a page that returns a code other than 200 OK. (The redirect should lead to a properly functioning page giving a 200 code).
  • Redirect between pages with different content.

Корректность использования редиректов на сайте

Checking the correct use of pages with response codes 4**

When conducting a site audit, it is very important to detect such errors and correct them, as the presence of 4** errors can lead to worse behavioral factors, loss of static weight and even loss of money. For example, if the page for ordering a service / product gives instead of 200 OK, the code is 404, which means it is not available to the user.

The site should not have the following errors:

  • A non-existent page returns a response code other than 404.
  • The existing page returns a 404 code.
  • The page should be removed from the index, but 404 is returned instead of 410. 410 Gone (“deleted”) allows you to remove documents faster.
  • The page address has changed, but the redirect has not been set.

Проверка корректности использования страниц с кодами ответа 4**

404 Page Analysis

The 404 page should:

  • save the design of the site;
  • give the user the opportunity to go back or to the main page;
  • give the opportunity to visit important sections of the site;
  • return a 404 response code.

правильное оформление 404 ошибки

404 page and marketing

You can also use the 404 page for your marketing purposes, for example, look at a selection of 404 errors that different brands use.

404 error and redirect

There is 1 more practice of working with 404 errors. For example, instead of a 404 error, the user is redirected to the main page of the site. This is justified in the case when the site is very large and old and it is very difficult to keep track of the appearance and correction of broken links. Also, users like to share links on forums and other external sites, and over time, links “become obsolete” (the product was removed from the site, the content was moved to another location, the product filter stopped working, etc.). If we leave everything as it is, then we will lose a lot of external reference, because links to 404 errors do not participate in the ranking of sites. If we put a 301 redirect to the main page, then all the link “juice” will be transferred to the main page.

Error correction

Прикольное оформление 404 ошибки

In order to fix all 404 errors, you need to find them.

This can be done using various tools. For example, Google Search Console, Screaming Frog SEO Spider and Netpeak Spider. You can also use the SiteReport service and others like it.

What to do after you have found errors?

You need to figure out why they appeared and how to fix them.

  • If redirects do not work correctly, then you need to configure them. You can do this by setting the necessary parameters in the .htaccess file (located at the root of the site).
  • If 404 errors are on the site itself, then they need to be fixed (replaced with the correct links) or removed.
  • If links from external resources give a 404 error, you can try to contact the site administration and fix broken links, but it is unlikely that anyone will answer you. Therefore, it is better to set up a 301 redirect to more relevant links or to the main page of the site.

It is not always possible to correct errors on your own. If this is your site, then you will not have problems with this. And if this is a client’s site and you, for example, do not have access to the site. Which exit? It is necessary to make a detailed report, where you need to indicate on which pages errors were found and how to fix them, how to set up redirects (specify the necessary directives for the .htaccess file).

For example, like this:

  1. You need to fix 404 errors – set up redirects for url:
URL with 404 errorRedirect URL
  1. On the page there is a text “decoration with coral” highlighted by a link, but it is not! Either make the text normal without the a href tag, or add a valid link.

On the page there is a text <a href=” -barselona”><u>Barcelona</u></a>, where the link leads to a 404 error, you need to replace this link ( with http://

  1. For lowercase / uppercase, you need to register the directive in htaccess:


Rewrite Engine On


# Skip the section if there are no capital letters.


# Replacement of letters of the Latin alphabet from A-Z to a-z.

RewriteRule^([^A]*)A(.*)$ $1a$2

RewriteRule^([^Z]*)Z(.*)$ $1z$2

# Trigger a re-traversal if there are more capital letters.

# Finally add a permanent htaccess redirect.



RewriteRule ^/?(.*)/$1[R=301,L]