Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from

Forum Moderators: Robert Charlton & goodroi

Message Too Old, No Replies

Junk and Other Website's Pages in WMT 404 Report

6:46 pm on Apr 15, 2015 (gmt 0)

New User

joined:Feb 10, 2015
votes: 0

Hello all,

Having a rather odd issue. Google WMT keeps showing a couple thousand 404 errors, many of which are either:
1. Messed up versions of legitimate URLs:

If we have a URL that is (www.example.com)/blue-widgets/c/1234567/, WMT may report something like /blue-widgets/c as a 404. I'm less concerned about these (supposedly Google will try random stuff just to see if it works), and more concerned about...

2. URLs that appear on websites completely unrelated to our own:

The vast majority of our 404 errors. We'll get stuff like /embassies/irish-embassies-abroad/caribbean/aruba/, which is completely unrelated to our site. A Google search of this address with the inurl modifier shows the page belonging to Ireland's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website.

Another example, /kultur1/Regionarkiv/Avgifter-kring-allmanna-handlingar/, apparently belongs to some regional government website (they aren't all government websites, the two examples here just happen to be).

If I go through and clear them all out, I'll just get them all back again in a few days. What is going on here?
8:01 pm on Apr 15, 2015 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Apr 9, 2011
votes: 869

What is going on here?

Nothing. Well, something obviously, but the chances are minute that it's anything you need to worry about.

The completely-spurious URL question has come up a few times before. The simplest explanation is that a DNS got the hiccups, causing requests to come in to your site that were intended for some other site. I think Google must keep track of URLs that have never received anything but a 404, because they don't keep requesting them sporadically for years afterward the way they do with URLs that really existed at one time.
11:47 pm on Apr 15, 2015 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Jan 20, 2005
votes: 0

I wouldn't worry too much about it.

It might be far fetched, but perhaps Google has added the Irish embassy path example you provided to one of its SPAM testing algorithms; I distinctly remember seeing link and keyword SPAM on some Irish government web sites several years ago and I do believe it was its foreign service. [webmasterworld.com...]