As you now, when a page is removed from your site, or you followed a wrong link, the 404 page not found error appears to inform you that there is no page for this link, recently Google lunched it’s webmaster tools, and counts the 404 links for you, they use this number of 404 pages in the site overall evaluation process to give it a ranking, this rank means the value of your site, for this reason you should fix these 404 error soon, you should count them and fix them before Google count them for you!, I developed a simple plugin to handle 404 error pages using 301 redirect, which can solve the issue and remove them from Google index, this type of redirection tells Google that this page is moved to another page permanently, the following image is a print screen from Google webmaster tools.
Figure(1): 404 errors from google webmaster tools
The idea of this plugin is to redirect all 404 links traffic to home page or to any custom URL that can be set from the plugin control panel, below is a print screen from the plugin control panel.
Figure(2): All 404 Redirect to Homepage Wordpress Plugin control panel
It’s so simple and easy to use, you just specify where to redirect the 404 pages and the plugin will do the job, you can enable or disable the plugin from the drop down list shown.
Note: if you have a cache plugin installed, it is recommended to clear the cache to get the results reflected immediately.
Download the plugin from our blog (htaccessredirected.com): http://www.htaccessredirected.com/404-redirect-homepage-wordpress-plugin.htm