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What Google Calls "Site Errors" Are Not Errors With My Site

 4:51 pm on May 15, 2014 (gmt 0)

Maybe I'm just arguing semantics here, I hope so. I hope that Google doesn't think this is an error with my site...
When I log into google webmaster tools and go to the crawl stats section I see the main heading of "site errors", then I see the heading "url errors". Under url error's I have 1,889 404's. That is because there are a bunch of links coming from hacked sites and unmonitored forums and the like to pages of my site that don't exist. It bothers me to think google may actually view this as an error on my site. The error is with the sites that are linking to me, not my site. I have "disavowed" these links (in a forced attempt to do what should be google's job). But still these links show up in my crawl stats section as if they are errors with my site. Thoughts?



 7:45 pm on May 15, 2014 (gmt 0)

Crawl Errors in GWT are frequently misunderstood.

Google *expects* sites to have 404 errors. Products go out of stock or are discontinued, events expire. Also, Google never met an URL it didn't remember forever, so, for example, they are still showing errors in my accounts for an URL structure I changed in ** 2010 **. Plus scrapers gonna scrape, and nobody knows that better than Google. Having 404 errors is normal and natural.

If the links from other sites are going to 404 pages, you shouldn't have to disavow them. You shouldn't have to do anything. You could mark them as "fixed" if you like; they'll come back if they remain out there on the net, but sometimes the offending site gets taken down or knocked out of Google itself.

The only time I stress over crawl errors (or when it might be an area of concern for Google) is if I suddenly get a ton of them in a short period of time. A slow and steady growth of errors is expected. 20,000 of them in a week might raise an eyebrow. I'd probably go looking for a technical problem on my site, or even a hack.

One of my biggest gripes with Google (across all products - search, AdWords, AdSense, Analytics, Merchant Center, Tag Manager, etc) they don't have a setting for "Yes I know what I'm doing and I meant to do that, don't bug me about it again"

It would save a lot of unnecessary grief.

Don't worry about your 1889 404s gathered over time. Google isn't worrying about them. You only need to worry if you suddenly get a lot of them (and they look like URLs that *should* be working normally)


 8:43 pm on May 15, 2014 (gmt 0)

they are still showing errors in my accounts for an URL structure I changed in ** 2010 **.

Pah, that's nothing, someone else hereabouts can quote them back to 2003 ;)

That's why I finally realized that no matter how long ago I changed an URL structure, no matter if only three humans linked/bookmarked it and all three have now corrected it, I must never, ever remove old 301s. A 404/410 is listed as a "crawl error", a 301 isn't. (Bing does list redirects, separately labeled.)


 8:49 pm on May 15, 2014 (gmt 0)

(I have sites that go back way before that, lucy24, I just haven't changed the URLs on those, ork ork)


 11:32 pm on May 15, 2014 (gmt 0)

Broken links are part of the web. Heck, I've broken some an never did a redirect because it wasn't wroth the time and effort. Probably beelions of those out there. It's up to G and the others to figure that out... I'm not cleaning up their index. They don't pay enough. ;)

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