I have been combining and redirecting pages in order to alleviate some Panda effects on a small subset of my pages and have, apparently, stumbled onto a problem with a wordpress feature that I'm not sure how to best resolve.
If you didn't know, Wordpress attempts to find the correct url when someone makes a mistake and it automatically redirects visitors to what it believes to be the correct url. This isn't a problem in general, it does a good job, but when I am redirecting the CORRECT url manually GWT is getting confused with the leftover non-existant(never existed) ones and is reporting them as 404.
To visualize: an example of a CORRECT url
Example of urls that wordpress will automatically redirect via 301 to the above
GWT does NOT report the extra versions of the same page because they redirect and resolve properly. When you redirect that page manually however GWT is left with a bunch of shortened URL versions that wordpress is NO LONGER automatically redirecting. I don't know if Google is automatically shortening urls to see if they resolve but if given anything but a 404 code it's reasonable to assume Google records data about it, even if it never existed(because it's just a wordpress quirk).
- What, if anything, are all these extra redirected url versions doing to my rankings? To my Panda scores? etc
- What, if anything, can I do to get Google OR Wordpress to knock it off?
- Does Google think I have a ton of 301 pages because it checks for shortened url versions?