New SEO tool: Server response code tester
Ian Lurie Aug 22 2011
AKA: The Responsinator
Lee Odden, Todd Malicoat, Jonathan Allen and I did a site clinic/lab at SES San Francisco last week. Of 5 sites we reviewed, 4 delivered the wrong response codes if I:
- Visited a broken link on the site. A server should respond with a ‘404’ error code. Most of these servers instead sent a 302 redirect code.
- Visited a non ‘www’ version of the domain where the domain included ‘www’, or vice-versa. I’d expect a normal web server to send me from ‘mysite.com’ to ‘www.mysite.com’ or vice-versa via a 301 redirect. But noooooo. Not these sites. They all either used 302 redirects, effectively chopping all site authority off at the knees, or they just sat there, staring at me.
Then I spot-checked a few other sites. They all did it wrong, too. I have a feeling there are a lot of servers out there delivering completely incorrect responses:
Your browser says “Hi, can I see that web page, please?”
The server responds “My, but your carrot gets good gas mileage.”
I started to feel a little insulted. Doesn’t anyone read my article about server response codes?
But I got over it. Instead, I wrote a quick little tool you can use to test your server’s (and your webmaster’s) mental stability.
It’s pretty self-explanatory: Try it here
Important note!!!! I am storing the results of all these tests. I’m not going to use it to hunt you down. In fact, I have no idea who you are. I just want to see how many servers out there are correctly configured. I promise. Someday, I may hatch a plan to steal your personal data, stalk you and make millions by redirecting your GameSpy subscription to my house. Today is not that day.
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Ian Lurie is CEO and founder of Portent Inc. He's recorded training for Lynda.com, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Forbes.com and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, SIC and ad:Tech. Follow him on Twitter at portentint. He also just published a book about strategy for services businesses: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle. Read More