The Five Most Common HTTP Errors According to Google

The Five Most Common HTTP Errors According to Google

Sometimes when you’re visiting web pages you are met with a HTTP error message. This is a message from the web server letting you know that something went wrong. Depending on whether this error is due to a mistake you made or the site itself, will depend on what HTTP error message you will receive, often the issue is with the site itself.

The Top Five Errors, According to Google

1. HTTP Error 500 (Internal Server Error)
This error message appears when a web server encounters some form of internal error. For example, the web server could be overloaded or you could have a faulty plugin on your website and therefore unable to handle requests properly.According to Google’s search statistics, this problem is a lot more common than 404 errors (not found).

2. HTTP Error 403 (Forbidden)
The 403 error happens when a website visitor tries to access a restricted web page but is forbidden. For example, if you try to access a (forbidden) directory on a website.

3. HTTP Error 404 (Not Found)
This error message is the one that most people recognise. A 404 error happens when you try to access a web page that doesn’t exist. There are many reasons why this message could appear.

  • The link could be broken
  • The URL could have been missed typed
  • The page has moved somewhere else
  • The page has been deleted

4. HTTP Error 400 (Bad Request)
The 400 error message appears when the web server is telling you that the application you are using (e.g. web browser) has tried to access the web page incorrectly or the request was somehow corrupted on the way.

5. HTTP Error 401 (Unauthorised)
Like the 403 error message, the 401 error message is very similar, but there is a difference. This is when a visitor tries to access a restricted web page but isn’t authorised (e.g. failed login attempts).


All the errors above are reported by the web server back to the visitor. However, if you can’t access a website at all, this could be due to the network being down, therefore you won’t get an HTTP error back.