A lot of times webmasters and SEOs will create a custom 404 page, it has been revealed recently that Google does not index 404 pages whatsoever. Ultimately meaning that it has no SEO benefit to have custom 404 error pages.
Once the bot realizes the page is a 404, it immediately stops crawling hindering all content that you may have included on the page invisible to the bot.
However, this does not mean having customized 404 pages are a bad idea as it’s great for user experience- which is what every webmaster should ultimately be aiming for. Essentially it’s still important to have high quality customized 404 pages because if a user ends up there it helps guide them to where they need to get on your site. While it’s good to have simple, straightforward 404 page, remember there is not actual SEO benefit to help your sites rankings.
Just a few side notes as well to remember about 404 errors;
- Links from your 404s do not help SEO, so linking other pages from a 404 page with other links throughout your site will not render an impact at all.
- 404 Errors actually do not cause any issues for your sites rankings either, Google has recognized that most of the time it’s not the webmasters fault- so do not penalize them.
At the end of the day, having custom, well thought out 404 pages are great for user experience but don’t have a direct SEO benefit that many have thought in the past.