Social Bookmarking – Overcome 404 Page Not Found Errors

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An embarrassing thing happened to me on the way to Social Bookmarking. Bookmarking is an SEO (Search Engine Optimization) tool that newbies often overlook. Fortunately, I was aware of this tool and promptly went to a few sites like Digg.com and Reddit.com to bookmark my latest post.

I manually bookmarked my article. I was very proud of myself. A week or so later I went back to load up another one of my blog posts that I thought was particularly interesting. I decided to check the original bookmark.

404 Page Not Found Problem:

I clicked on my link. I got the feared “Page Not Found” error message. Has this ever happened to you? Have you ever found yourself in this predicament? The social bookmarking link got to my site and displayed the 404 page not found error message but not the article that I wanted to reference. Sometimes you feel helpless.

What in the world was going on? What was the cause? Maybe your first thought is that you somehow deleted the post on your blog. WRONG! It is still there.

Maybe the cause for the error message is the fact that a blog, in this case a WordPress blog, automatically rolls older posts down the homepage. That somehow this is the reason for the Search Engine’s inability to find your post. WRONG!

Your brain quickly searches for a solution. Four potential solutions may come to mind:

  1. You should create a page on your blog for that post. That way any reference to that page would be permanent, but that is not a practical solution.
  2. Assign a unique category to the post. That also is not very practical.
  3. Direct your link from the social bookmarking site back to the article directory source and not to your blog, but some social media sites do not allow a direct link back to an article directory.
  4. Finally you consider editing the reference to your article on the social bookmark; it will not let you edit the reference.

WRONG again!

Social Bookmarking Solution:

Have you ever heard of permalinks? Permalinks are found in WordPress on the dashboard under Settings. A permalink is the URL tag or name used to identify a particular web address like a web page, website, or a post to a blog. Most Content Management Systems (CMS) like blogs use permalinks to keep track of posts.

In my case, being a newbie and still learning, I had changed the make up of my permalinks so that when the social bookmarking site searched the Web, it was not able to find my post and the dreaded 404 page not found message appeared. I was not aware of the impact that my experimenting on the settings in WordPress was having on my blog.

The simple solution is to re-define your permalink to its “postname”. You can define a permalink to identify its post name, category, author, date and other unique tags. If you are doing social bookmarking, use a permalink that defines the post name and its author. So many things to learn!

The more you learn the more you make money!

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