The ultimate guide to HTTP status codes and headers for SEO
Do you understand how HTTP protocol works and the impact it has on crawling and indexing web pages? No? Here's a guide written by Contributor Barry Adams on HTTP status codes and headers that will make it easier to learn.
In the client-server architecture of the World Wide Web, the interaction between browsers and websites is handled through the hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP). This protocol was introduced in 1991 and is an official web standard. Almost all traffic on the web is handled through HTTP.
When search engine spiders like Googlebot crawl a website, they behave like browsers requesting web pages from a site and rely on HTTP for this exchange. This is why it’s important for search engine optimization specialists (SEOs) to understand how the HTTP protocol works and the impact it has on search engines’ crawling and indexing of web pages. In this column, I’ll explain everything you need to know.
But first, let me tell you about the tools you’ll need to perform the necessary tests on your site. Google Chrome DevTools allows you to view a uniform resource locator (URL) full HTTP response, but it can be cumbersome to view. I prefer using the Ayima Page Insights and Ayima Redirect Path Chrome plugins to show me a URL’s full HTTP response.
Using the Ayima Page Insights plugin in Chrome, this is what an HTTP response looks like:
Another tool that does the same job isLive HTTP Headers for Chrome.