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example.htm/ indexed with slash, example.htm NOT indexed



11:08 am on Jul 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Came across one of our formerly top pages (dropped since panda) which I hadn't checked lately and discovered the page example.com/example.htm/ is indexed, but the page example.com/example.htm is NOT. Checking WMT, both show up, but WMT CLAIMS the example.htm/ page is LINKED externally AND internally via a REDIRECT from example.htm! This has NEVER been the case. Is this a new exploit going around?

Granted both resolve to the same page on that domain, because the .htaccess has not been set up to exclude this particular case, but why would WMT claim there is/was a non-existent redirect? I have now inserted the canonical tag on the page itself to hopefully fix this.

Any other explanations, solution suggestions?


4:42 pm on Jul 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Now that's a weird one. I assume you've tried requesting example.htm (no final slash) in your browser and it comes up with no redirect.

Can you get the correct URL in search results, through a long quote if not otherwise? That would be more telling than a WMT report - because their data can be buggy at times.


4:59 pm on Jul 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Run a link check tool on the site like Xenu or similar.

Right click that page's URL in Xenu for properties will give a list of pages that the linking occurs on.

Agree that searching for the exact URL within quotes may show up a page linking to it.


7:53 am on Jul 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Nope, no redirect on example.htm (no slash)and I guarantee there never was. This isn't even one that we were having phantom redirects on in the past.

I can NOT get the non-slash URL anymore in the search results. Searching for "example.com/example.htm" comes up with only the example.htm/ page. I know this was not the case a couple weeks ago, now that I think about it, because we track that page, amongst many others, for SERP positions and it came up non-slash then.

WMT lists both pages, but shows links to example.htm/ as "via this intermediate link"

This page has a lot of old authoritative links to it (major newspapers, Yahoo, etc.)

I fetched both versions as googlebot last night (after adding the canonical tag) and THOUGHT I had submitted them to try and clear this up, but it looks like it didn't take either, so I just resubmitted them now and it's acting like it accepted both. So hopefully that will clear it up.

I also did the search as Hoople suggested and couldn't find a single instance where it is linked.

Also happened across another, relatively inconsequential page on the same domain indexing only the .htm/. Very strange.


12:19 pm on Jul 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

It sounds more and more like a bug in the WMT reporting code, doesn't it? Are you seeing the "final slash" URL in either your server logs or analytics at all?


3:25 pm on Jul 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I'm also getting a final slash on a few of my sites popular pages. It has a canonical tag without the trailing slash on it but Google seem to be serving the page.php/ as the definitive url, there does seem to be a bug in there. I don't think traffic to this page has dropped but I might do a 301 redirect to tidy things up though.


10:39 pm on Jul 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Hello, there.

I am having a similar terrible fate like the original poster.
I just wrote the bug here:

Google decided that my pages .php should be handled like .php/

I haven't touched my site for half a year (working at other projects).
Nobody is touching the server. Nothing have been set to create "the redirect".

So, why is Google using the .php/ format instead?

Imaged doesn't load when used in that way. So users think that my site is broken, and the jump back. That causes me in 2 weeks to fall in rankings (and to lose the traffic).

Practically, Google bug killed half my traffic.


10:43 pm on Jul 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Waynne, do the redirect.

2 weeks ago a page dissapeared from the Google search.

I included the redirect, and it started showing one week later.

I thought it was a bug with one page... maybe some fans linked in the wrong format?

Then, some pages started to show the same symptoms... for no reason!

I had to create redirects to those "#$"$&"%$ .php/ even in pages that they don't show yet the bug!

Also, it could be a "competitor", but strangely, I have one non important page that has the same bug too... so I doubt it is human thing. It is a Google bug. I dont know why.


10:44 pm on Jul 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I remember once that Google decided that one page was dead. (404)
The page was working. But Google said "no, I dont like that code, it is 404 for me".

I hate Google bugs.


10:20 am on Jul 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Just to follow up: I inserted the canonical tag and then did the two "fetch as googlebot" as previously mentioned and as of today the original, non slash, page is back in the search index and the trailing slash listing is gone. However BOTH still show up in WMT, although none of the pages I checked (internal or external) that it claims link to the trailing slash version, do so.

Even more interestingly the list of links in WMT to the trailing-slash listing NOW says "via the NON-slash URL as the intermediate link" while the non-slash URL does NOT! A complete reversal of the previous case. lol. More fun with Google bugs.

Did NOT put a redirect in .htaccess, there is no reference to that page whatsoever in .htaccess.

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