Thursday, May 25th, 2017

An SEO’s Guide to HTTP Status Codes (An Infographic)

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Posted by Dr. Pete

A while back, I started thinking about how the different status codes and redirects (301s, 302s, etc.) might look visually. I started drawing up some ideas for what was going to be an illustrated blog post, but then it suddenly dawned on me that I was slowly creating an infographic. I then proceeded to have a conversation with myself about how I could never create an infographic and was probably doomed. Depression turned into mania which turned into depression – this happened about 47 times between 9:00 and 9:14am. Actually, that’s the start of my typical day.

I could go on, but I’ll just cut to the chase. I took the most useful HTTP status codes, from an SEO perspective, and illustrated how they work. It’s half cheat-sheet, half-infographic, and mostly just an excuse for me to have some fun. Hopefully, somebody learns something. This is completely my fault, so if you gouge your own eyes out with a spork to escape the horror, don’t sue SEOmoz.

Click the image to see the full-sized version. A few technical notes:

  • As I mention about 301/302, I’ve abbreviated some of the official names for design purposes.
  • The visual format required a black-and-white interpretation. Search-engines handle 302s inconsistently.
  • Rel-canonical is obviously not a status code, but it’s a functional relative that I felt should be included.

Comments are welcome. Did I miss any of your favorites? There are dozens, of course, but many are similar or almost never used. The 400-series alone has dozens of status codes, actually, most of which I had honestly never heard of in 13 years of full-time web work.

When I was about 90% done with this infographic, I found out that fellow SEO and Moz friend Richard Baxter created a status code diagram earlier this year. It’s pretty cool, too, and you should check it out.

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