I'm looking for a bit of advice, we sell quite a few one off antiques so whens somethings sold, its sold. I'm now getting allot of URL errors via webmaster tools (basically the URL no longer exists), if the item had a google 'presence' because of the keyword (i.e. 'antique servants box' creates allot of traffic popular search term and no one else really sells them so we rank high) I set up a URL redirect and point it to the 'Antique Servants' collection page. However if its just a pair of antique door handles (of which we have lots) I haven't bothered so I now have 800+ URL errors. Is it worth setting up redirects for all of these and pointing the redirect to a collection page? I've been reading a bit and some say yes definately its affecting SEO, some say don't bother.
I'm also having a few soft 404 issues with some really old pages with old tags such as this one collections/all/antique-victorian?page=1 (I changed the tag from antique victorian to victorian about 12 months ago and these have just popped up) but for whatever reason the redirects don't work if I want to point that page to the homepage, theres only a few of them but again some say its a problem, others don't wory about it.
Thanks in advance,
Really great question!
Whether or not it hinders or helps SEOs is a tough question. I do not believe it will directly harm your SEO ranking, however, having a broken link as a page that is possibly searchable is not something that we should be ok with.
There are a few apps with functions that I think can help you resolve 800+ 404 errors.
The first is Traffic Control: https://apps.shopify.com/traffic-control-bulk-redirects
The second is Transportr: https://apps.shopify.com/transportr
Both apps will allow you to quickly and effectively bulk edit 404 links to correct those errors.
I hope that works out for you and your store, if you have any further questions about this or anything Shopify related, don't hesitate to reach out to us, we are happy to help.
I would primarily think about user experience. If there are cases where users end up on these 404 pages, are they being treated well? You may be able to track 404 traffic in your analytics account.
For SEO, I would consider fixing the top 404 errors in the Google Search Console. You can also click on errors and sometimes see examples on what was linking to those pages. A possible oportunity to ensure people don't get sent to those pages anymore.
You could also examine those pages in the Search Analytics report. This can tell you if Google was ranking them. If so, they would be worth redirecting to the most relevant pages. Analytics would also tell you if a page attracted traffic from search.