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Why did GWT stop reporting 404 errors?

     
12:28 am on Sep 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member sgt_kickaxe is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



I was just in my Google Webmaster Tools dashboard to see if I had any new 404 errors to deal with and the 404 error section of my dashboard is entirely gone. Why?
7:46 am on Sep 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member g1smd is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



In the GWT data I have one site where the errors section is missing from the page (both the table of numbers and graph are missing) and there's a big white space where it should be.

I am guessing it's some sort of bug. The DNS/robots errors section still shows above that white space.

The lower section disappeared at the same time that a message about "crawling suspended because robots.txt not accessible" appeared (several months ago). However, robots.txt was and is accessible and Google was and is fetching it, and was and is still also crawling the site!
12:48 pm on Sep 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



They changed it a while ago such that if there are no errors, that particular error type doesn't show up. (I can't find the blog post where the announced it, but I remember reading it.) My site only has tabs for "Not Found" and "Other". It currently doesn't have a tab that shows internal server errors.

That being said, I don't think I've ever seen a site with no 404 errors. Google seems to make up pages to query even once you have taken care of all the broken links. Right now they are reporting as 404 on my site things like "123456/ad_slot_top_main" which are strings used by the Google adserver and embedded in javascript. Certainly not urls. Just braindead crawl behavior.
1:20 pm on Sep 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



ight now they are reporting as 404 on my site things like "123456/ad_slot_top_main" which are strings used by the Google adserver and embedded in javascript. Certainly not urls. Just braindead crawl behavior.


I have seen this behavior right after Feb 24 2011. So this behavior or reporting 404 errors on URLs that don't exist on your site is more than an year old.
1:23 pm on Sep 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



The lower section disappeared at the same time that a message about "crawling suspended because robots.txt not accessible" appeared (several months ago). However, robots.txt was and is accessible and Google was and is fetching it, and was and is still also crawling the site!


This again has been going on for more than a year. It would be there and it would be working perfectly but they still report that ridiculous message.
8:29 pm on Sep 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

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



They changed it a while ago such that if there are no errors, that particular error type doesn't show up.

On the dashboard? I get "0 errors" and some green checkboxes on days when g### hasn't been able to invent a garbage URL to get a 404. (I went over and checked right now.) This happens often enough that they don't have to make up a robots.txt problem in order to have an error to report-- but thanks for the warning!

Or on the Crawl Errors page? There I just get the green checkboxes with a nice big white space underneath.
10:36 pm on Sep 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member g1smd is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



I don't think I've ever seen a site with no 404 errors.

I have several sites with no crawl errors at all.

Once you get down to zero errors you'd expect to continue to see the crawl errors graph on the page and showing the number of errors seen over the last three months. That doesn't happen. Insead you get the words "No errors found in the last 90 days - nice". That's another bug ('cus there were errors only one day ago).


Make sure you register both www and non-www versions of the site in WMT and look at both sets of reports.
8:07 pm on Sep 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member sgt_kickaxe is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



I got a single phatom url 404, apparently Google guessed, and the whole section came back.

/shrug
12:19 am on Sep 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member g1smd is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



There's bugs in those reports and in the display of those reports. I've fed it back on several occasions but Google has only fiddled with the graph colours, fonts, and vertical axis marking of the graphs since then.
 

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