You have probably run across annoying error responses on your own website, or on other sites you visit. In the fast-paced age of information, people do not have patience for poorly functioning platforms that do not provide instantaneous results. They will quickly form a negative impression of your business and turn to your competitors. To avoid this, you need to handle disruptions on your site as soon as you become aware of them.
In this article, we will overview the 5th class of HTTP errors, explain how they affect your SEO, and what you can do to fix them.
What are 5xx Errors?
HTTP requests are sent from a client browser to a server, and a response is provided after they are processed. Sometimes things can go wrong at different points of this journey. A range of HTTP status codes is used to convey the type and cause of the problem, and suggest ways to resolve it.
In general, there are five groups of responses. The 5th type points at the server’s inability to fulfill a request, meaning that your device, browser, and Internet connection are most likely okay. The server is usually aware of the problem and provides its code and description, so that users understand whether it will be resolved soon or persist, and so webmasters can quickly develop a bug fixing strategy.
Detecting 5th Group Errors
As a website owner, it can be challenging to promptly pinpoint HTTP errors, especially if they appear on several of your thousands of pages. It is not recommended to keep the issue on the back burner, since outages may not only alienate your customers, but also worsen your search rankings and reduce organic traffic.
Of course, you do not have the time and resources to review all your pages on a daily basis. Helpful SEO tools like OnCrawl, Ahrefs, and Moz come to your rescue by providing rich and accurate HTTP error reports with just a couple of clicks. You can use additional services like Serpstat for more in-depth SEO analysis.
5th Group Errors You Should Know About
Even if you are not a webmaster, it is useful to know the various types of 5xx errors and understand what prompts them to appear on your online platform.
- 500 – Internal Server Error. The server got into an unfamiliar state and cannot handle it.
- 501 – Not Implemented. The server cannot fulfill a clients’ task since it lacks the necessary functionality or the message is sent in an unfamiliar way. Request fulfillment may be possible in the future, if certain conditions change.
- 502 – Bad Gateway. This issue often occurs when an intermediary server is used and an upstream server provides incorrect feedback.
- 503 – Service Unavailable. The server is under maintenance or overloaded and cannot provide the expected feedback at the moment. Request fulfillment becomes possible once the server returns to its normal work mode. You can find out how soon this will happen by reviewing the response header. If this data is absent, the error should be treated like a 500 error.
- 504 – Gateway timeout. This issue is similar to Bad Gateway. It occurs if an upstream server fails to respond in a timely manner.
- 505 – HTTP Version Not Supported. The message sent from a client browser uses an unsupported HTTP version. Explanation of why the current version is not supported is usually provided on the page.
- 506 – Variant Also Negotiates. As a result of an erroneous configuration, the selected variant points to itself, causing the binding process to be interrupted.
- 507 – Insufficient Storage. There is not enough space to execute the current task. The problem may be temporary.
- 508 – Loop Detected. An infinite loop hinders the request completion.
- 510 – Not Extended. The server lacks the software the client wants to use. It can optionally provide information on available extensions.
- 511 – Network Authentication Required. This notification is displayed not by the server to which the message was directed but by the intermediary server, for example, the provider’s server – in case the client must first log in to a paid network by entering the password. An authorization form or a link to it is usually provided on the page that the user wants to access
Impact of Server Errors on Your SEO
Google’s goal is to bring users to keyword-relevant websites that provide an upscale user experience. It prioritizes platforms that correspond to search intent and run smoothly. Server errors make your pages less attractive to search robots and can even cause them to be excluded from indexing.
Of course, this won’t happen instantaneously. Google is more likely to punish you for a consistent pattern than a single error. Once you notice the problem, you have a couple of weeks to fix it, but don’t delay.
How to Fix 5xx Errors
Here are some steps you can take to remove 5th class errors from your website:
- Update the page. Everything may work again if the problem was temporary.
- Review the website’s error log.
- Delete cookies in your browser’s history.
- Reverse the latest upgrades and see if the problem resolves. Server errors often appear due to improperly installed hardware and software, incompatibility with new extensions, unsuccessful updates, and loss of files in the process of data transfer.
- Check backend scripts, permissions, and timeout specifications for external connections.
- Remove the .htaccess file and update the page to check whether this was the cause.
- If you have a content-rich website that processes a large number of simultaneous requests, seek ways to accelerate your response time.
HTTP server-side errors are harmful to your rankings and user impressions. To avoid customer dissatisfaction and SEO problems, you should regularly inspect your website and take action as soon as issues are found. First try updating the page to see if the error is transitory. If it persists, delve into more intricate settings to pinpoint the culprit.
If you do not have time to monitor and fix 5xx codes, we can help. Clever Solution will undertake full-cycle maintenance of your website, to make sure it runs flawlessly, with satisfactory user experience and high ranking search results that help you reach and exceed your business goals.