404 pages are the errors pages that a website serves up when you tried to reach a non existent webpage. Even though 404s are reached by accident there are also a great opportunity for redirect traffic and keep visitors attention. In the blog post I’ll be talking about some of my favorite 404 pages and how they make their sites better.
One of my favorite 404 pages happens to be an automatically generated one.
Houston Fertility Center
Houston Fertility Center uses as CMS that create a spider friendly 404 that allows visitors to find what they were looking for. It’s not the prettiest page around for for usability it Search Engine friendly it’s pretty awesome.
Github’s 404 page has pros and cons in regards to SEO. On one hand it’s doesn’t help visitors one bit with finding their content so if you’re looking for a page your journey kinds almost as soon as it starts. One good thing about Github’s error page it that it’s very creative and funny so even though you didn’t find what you’re looking for you at least got a laugh outta it. Creative, unique pieces of content can be link bait attracting a lot of visits, links, shares and other things bringing your site from obscurity to virility in just a few days, depending on who finds it.
Opus does something similar with their 404 page. It’s completely unhelpful to finding what you need but entertaining enough to make you forget your worries. With large websites providing a stemap in your 404 can be daunting and impractical so it makes sense to offer something humorous to wayward searchers.