HTTP 302 Redirects Instead of 404 Page Not Found Error in IIS URL Rewrite

SEO: Google Web Master Report Showing Multiple 302 Redirects Instead of 404 Page Not Found Error with IIS URL Rewrite and Web.Config File Fix

While reviewing my Google Web Master Reports, I came across an odd error.

When a 404, Page Not Found, error should be showing for a page that has since been deleted, multiple 302s are generated and Google errors out with something like Err too many redirects.

The root cause was a reconfiguration in Microsoft IIS.

I have a custom 404 error page configuration that references the execution of a customer 404 page for a better customer experience.

Below is what the configuration looks like in IIS. It is set to execute a custom 404.asp page instead of the standard 404.htm page included with IIS.

Let’s zoom out and see that there is another error setting.

If we click to edit the “Error” feature setting, we will see another we are editing the custom 404 setting.

This is the correct setting that solved the issue!  Scroll down to see the wrong configuration.

This is the wrong or bad or incorrect configuration that caused me some grief.

Hope this helps somebody!


This Week in SEO w/ Rick Cable for Week Ending 10/25/2019

There is a lot going in SEO this week.

Barry Schwartz over at Searh Engine Roundtable is discussing a Google search engine algorithm update on Wednesday, October 24th

On my Free Classifieds website,, I did see a slight increase in organic traffic from Google after the 10/24/2019 update initially. I had new JSON-LD code I’ll be discussing later in the article that was generating a HTTP 500 sever errors which caused Google to pause displaying pages from the domain for both organic search results as well Google Ads (CPC) at the exact same time. Hopefully, this is only temporary and our organic search results momentum can be picked up where we left off.

This suggests that both the Organic Search Results side and Paid Advertising CPC Google Ads seem to use the Googlebot HTTP 500 server error results as a flag for a domain and or sub-domains and reduce traffic to them.

I looked around and found this information packed article that includes information on how Google Search uses Googlebot 500 error results to remove problem pages or domains as soon as issues are detected.


A Background Video on JSON-LD

You would implement JSON-LD to make sure Googlebot in this case can pick up on product details such as the product name, description and price. JSON-LD helps provides context to information Googlebot spiders on your site.

My implementation of JSON-LD was done on the local classifieds page. This JSON-LD example was a list of items for sale in a classified ads page for the Modesto, California metro area.

JSON-LD Code Example / Server Side Code Generates the Script Block

The system I’m patching to add the JSON-LD is running on Classic ASP which is probably closer to PHP or C# Razor Syntax. The language and or framework matter not that much, its the idea / solution.

This example is mix of front end JavaScript and ASP VBScript taking care of the looping thru the recordset to get the values needed to fill in the JSON-LD values.

To me, JSON is a fairly simple concept of transporting data in a simple key/value pair format.

The trickiest part I found about constructing a well structured and acceptable JSON-LD message is the nesting syntax when outputting multiple records at a time and and making sure that we don’t have duplicate values in the key/value pairs.

In my case, I had to construct the JSON-LD block inside a server side code block where we are looping through a recordset and outputting the fields related to the JSON-LD from the local classifieds ad table.

Notice how I’ve got @context and @type outside the loop as these fields and values will be the same for each record. 

So output all your values that are the same for every record then nest the rest of the output in a block inside it using [ ] and { } as seen in the example below. Feel free to checkout the output from the live site anytime. :-).

<script type="application/ld+json">
	"@context" : "",
	"@type" : "Product" [
<% While NOT Recordset1.eof	%>
<% if InStr(Recordset1("Category"),"service") = 0 then %>
	"@name" : "<%=Replace(Mid(Recordset1("ItemDescription"),1,40),vbCrLf,"") & " in " & Recordset1("City") & ", " & Recordset1("State")%>",
	"decription" : "<%=Replace(Replace(Mid(Recordset1("AdText"),1,120), vbCrLf, ""),vbTab,"")%>",
	"offers" : {
		"@type": Offer,
		"url": "<%=SiteURL%>/misc-classifieds/listings-detail/adid/<%=Recordset1("ID")%>/description/<%=Server.URLEncode(Replace(Mid(Recordset1("ItemDescription"),1,25),vbCrLf,""))%>",
		"priceCurrency": "USD"
	end if

SEO Videos & Articles of Note for Week Ending 10/25/2019.

Here are the best SEO related videos and articles I could find to share with you this week!

Marie Haynes Search News Podcast – Oct 23rd 2019

Video: SEO This Week Episode 139 – Coding, Links, Mapping

Video: SEO Fight Club Episode 38 – Rank Tracking Problems

Video: Barry Schwartz Interview w/ Eric Enge of Stone Temple Consulting in Boston

SEO: Google Sitemaps not Worth the Effort

In his Oct 2, 2019 blog article, SEO Round Table’s Gary Schwartz has reported that Google’s John Mueller posted on Reddit that he agrees, that HTML sitemaps are not worthwhile for SEO purposes.

See Gary’s article here:

I’ve been in SEO for as long as SEO has existed and I’ll agree with John Mueller on this issue.

In my opinion, web site developers should be more focused on simplification of their site’s navigation. If it is simple, it is good for people and for search engine bots.

I’ve spent time and money in the past creating very large site maps using tools like Screaming Frog software to index and create sitemaps of my site. Screaming Frog’s prices eventually increased too much over a couple of years so I stopped using them and briefly considered writing my own tools to do the same thing.

In the end, I used my time to focus on design improvement including a major simplification in the U/I which dramatically reduced the amount of links per page making it easier for people to navigate as well as Google, Bing and Yahoo search engine bots.

Don’t waste your time with sitemaps, use your time more wisely on design improvements.