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Google Webmaster Reporting Phantom Errors

5+ Year Member

Msg#: 4332297 posted 11:19 pm on Jun 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

I recently lost 99% of traffic and web pages are now on page 5-7 instead of the 1st page. One thing that I noticed is that a large amount of errors (meaning google is in error) is reported in the webmaster tools area. Specifically, over the weeks before the hit to the site, there is a lot of strange 404 errors. Some pages are good pages that should not have a 404, and others are strange regular pages, with extra things tacked on the end of the url. Some of the things tacked on are other pages that are linked to that page. They are separate pages and do not belong tacked onto the web url.

This is a wordpress site. Another error is a tag page, with a post page tacked on the end. Its as if its jumbled up the pages.

Other errors are pages that webmaster reports are blocked by robots.txt but they are not. There is no blocking by robots. Very strange.

Could these errors be responsible for my getting a penalty? Does anyone else see any strange stuff in their webmaster tools account that is not correct?



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Msg#: 4332297 posted 11:36 pm on Jun 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

This is at least the second report of similar such things happening in recent days. There's a much longer thread around these parts with a conversation already in progress on this topic.

It might be internal linking problems within your site, combined with lax URL rewriting rules in your .htaccess file. It's worth running Xenu LinkSleuth over your site.


5+ Year Member

Msg#: 4332297 posted 1:31 am on Jun 29, 2011 (gmt 0)

Thanks...as you suggested, I ran LinkSleuth and found a lot of errors. It showed me what page it was being called from and I found that the reason (on a wordpress site) that the bizarre pages were coming up is that the links in question did not have the full web address, only the page name. So make sure if you have wordpress to put the full web address, http and all. Here is the other topic that you mentioned:

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