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SmartErrors, powered by CloudFlare, instantly transforms dead-end 404 page not found error pages into intelligent internal site searches that increase visitor engagement and reduce bounce rates. With SmartErrors enabled, keywords and contextual information from any referring link that produces a 404 error are automatically used to find and present relevant content to your site’s visitors, discouraging them from using the back button and leaving your site to look elsewhere.

With SmartErrors we’re excited to tackle one of the web’s most frequently seen errors as we continue our mission of building a faster, safer and smarter Internet!

What is a 404 'Page Not Found' Error?

A web site’s server will typically generate a “404 - Not Found” page when a visitor to a site tries to access a page that doesn’t exist for one reason or another. These errors typically occur when someone mistypes a URL on your site, when there is a broken link from another page or site, when a page that previously existed is moved or removed, or if there is an error when a search engine indexes your site. What’s worse is that they can be impossible to control, as many old links come from external sites.

404s can be problematic for your site as they:

  • Are a lost opportunity to engage with a visitor

  • Increase bounce rates (when users click back and navigate away)

  • May lead to SEO (search engine optimization) penalization

Benefits of SmartErrors

The average site with SmartErrors enabled sees visitor engagement rates of over 15%, with some as high as 75-80%. What this means is that, on average, 15% of SmartErrors result in deeper engagement within a site. It really does make a difference!

SmartErrors can also help your site’s SEO (search engine optimization). Dead-end pages rob your site of so called “link juice.” We have marked all links that point off your site as rel=”nofollow” and designed the page so that both search crawlers and actual visitors stay on your site.

Other things you should know

  • SmartErrors intercepts and replaces your 404’s (including custom 404’s) with a SmartError page in its place. If you shut off SmartErrors, your old 404’s will display immediately.

  • SmartErrors are only displayed if your server returns a 404 response code for an HTML resource (non-HTML resources are not responded to).

  • During the beta search ads may be shown alongside search results to offset the cost of crawling your site and conducting search queries.

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