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how to remove 404 urls that don't exist from Google Webmaster Tools

 4:19 pm on Nov 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

Several bookmarking or directory scraping sites have linked to my site with part of the image tag in it, creating a link similar to:


I now have over 200 URLS like this showing up under URLS not found in Google Webmaster Tools.

What is the best way to get rid of these? I've written to one of the bookmarking sites over a month ago asking them to correct their code and haven't gotten a response.

Trying a 301 redirect to the page without the junk string doesn't work. Based on that, I'm concerned if I submit the bad URL with the junk string in it to be removed from Google, Google may remove the good page.




 6:39 pm on Nov 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

The 301 redirect would be the best choice. It can be a little tricky unless your server uses Apache and you can use an .htaccess file. If you can use .htaccess, you can try something like:

RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} ^/page.html$
RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} .
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.yoursite.com/page.html? [R=301,L]

Adding the trailing "?" on the RewriteRule seems counter-intuitive, but it works.

On the whole, though, these 404's shouldn't be a problem except for the fact that they clog up the error report to the point where you might overlook some real problems.

[edited by: tedster at 7:33 pm (utc) on Nov. 6, 2008]
[edit reason] de-link the url [/edit]


 7:01 pm on Nov 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

The above-described malformed URL does not have a query appended to it, so all you need is one line:

RewriteRule ^(([^.]+\.)+html).+$ http://www.yoursite.com/$1 [R=301,L]


[edited by: tedster at 7:34 pm (utc) on Nov. 6, 2008]
[edit reason] de-link the url [/edit]


 11:15 am on Nov 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

404 is it good from SEO prospective. If I have many broken links on site can I go for 404 error. Will it harm my Google rankings?

Looking for your valuable opinion


 1:43 pm on Nov 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

hello namrata,
404 error is harmful from seo prospective and internet search marketing.And secondly google does not index a site with broken links.if google inde this kind of site, then definitely broken links will harm your site.


 4:30 am on Nov 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

Let's not go overboard with concern about 404s. If the bad links that generate a 404 are not on your site, you've got no Google problem from them. You might have an opportunity - and WMT sometimes helps you see that opportunity.

The WMT help pages even tell you that you should not worry about the 404s listed if they are out of your control.

You should monitor your site regularly for broken links that are under your control - but a few here and there occasionally will also not cause you any real problem.


 11:41 am on Nov 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

My suggestion would be go with custom 404 Web pages. These web pages will have a message & then automatically redirect to the home page. This way you will get additional traffic to your website.

From the SEO prospective, the only drawback is that you wont get value of pagerank from these backlink. I think Google will not have any problem unless & until the broken links is from your website.

I agree with tedster. Just make sure that there is no broken links in your website.


 11:50 am on Nov 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

thanks guys....

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