| 7:30 pm on Mar 7, 2012 (gmt 0)|
In Google's own forums, their official comments have emphasized several times that this kind of crawl error is provided for your information - and you can ignore it if those links are bogus. In other words, their crawler made an error, not you.
| 7:55 pm on Mar 7, 2012 (gmt 0)|
I have external incoming links pointing at
example.com/product-featur and so on.
They all correctly return a 404 response. Do not be tempted to redirect these requests.
| 9:49 am on Mar 8, 2012 (gmt 0)|
Thanks for the responses. That's pretty much what I thought but just wanted some confirmation.
Out of interest, what would be the effect of redirecting these invalid URLs to actual valid pages?
| 12:05 pm on Mar 8, 2012 (gmt 0)|
Look up the phrase "soft 404". Google hates 'em.
| 12:08 pm on Mar 8, 2012 (gmt 0)|
You want broken links from external sites showing up in GWT. Depending on the caliber of the linking site you may want to contact the site owner to get it right.
|Out of interest, what would be the effect of redirecting these invalid URLs to actual valid pages? |
Google has never seen content at the broken url location and a redirect is saying "it was there but now it's moved", trust comes into play as does internal link structure. It's better to ask the link be fixed and you can't ask if GWT doesn't report it.
| 5:36 pm on Mar 8, 2012 (gmt 0)|
|what would be the effect of redirecting these invalid URLs to actual valid pages? |
I've seen companies try this. At best, it did nothing - a waste of time. However, at worst, the liability is saying "Yes, we want to be associated with this crazy, manipulative, low quality network of websites. We validate these links."
If the bad link comes from a good quality site and if it is getting clicks, then asking them to fix the link is the best step. For a good quality site doesn't correct their bad link, in that case (only) I might consider a redirect. But that would usually be rare. These bad badlinks usually do come from shady places ;(