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Weird subdomains in Google SERP, how do I get rid of these?

   
10:42 pm on Jan 6, 2014 (gmt 0)



I have a whole bunch of weird subdomain like vww.mysite.com pop.mysite.com www.mysite.com showing up in Google when I search site:http://mysite.com. About 14 of them are being indexed by Google and I am hoping to remove them because we don't use them and I'm worried they are hurting our website's overall SERP ranking in Google. What is the safest way to get rid of these? I asked our host goDaddy but they haven't helped and when I look at the DNS manager options in goDaddy, not all of these weird subdomains are even shown in there as aliases.

Thanks for any advice!
11:16 pm on Jan 15, 2014 (gmt 0)

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



Does it happen with all random subdomains, like fsjkfj.example.com, or only for a short list of selected names like mail and smtp? It still sounds like a DNS issue at their end. http requests for mail.example.com should never go anywhere, no matter what your wildcards setup is. (Is it even physically possible to use a name like "mail.example.com" as an ordinary http subdomain? Aren't there reserved names?)

:: detour to re-check thread on the question of subdomains ::

We do use subdomains files. and time. which are not represented in goDaddy and are controlled somewhere else

If you have no ordinary http subdomains hosted on the present server, you should be able to make the whole thing go away by turning off the "wildcard" option. You actually don't have any subdomains. The ones that live on other servers don't count.

:: wandering off to see whether there really are reserved names, or it that's just a product of my fevered imagination ::
7:52 pm on Jan 21, 2014 (gmt 0)



Thanks for all your help. The 200 code site not found was happening on all subdomains, like jhsfh.example.com.

At my DNS I have a .net version and a .com version of my site. I turned off wildcards for the .com one, and after that all random subdomains for the .com would get a server not found error.

This seemed great but then I realized I need to be able to set a 404 or 410 for these subdomains to be able to use Webmaster Tools to ask for their removal from Google's index. So I turned back on wildcards temporarily and am now trying to setup these subdomains to work at my goDaddy server so that I can use .htaccess to 404 them and get them removed from google's index.

I've never setup a subdomain before and am not sure if each subdomain needs its own .htaccess file or what, so I'm figuring that out now.
9:51 pm on Jan 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month



This seemed great but then I realized I need to be able to set a 404 or 410 for these subdomains to be able to use Webmaster Tools to ask for their removal from Google's index.

I wouldn't bother with it -- They'll disappear before too long due to the server error too.
10:13 pm on Jan 21, 2014 (gmt 0)



Oh really? That actually makes a big difference to me because I have an economy goDaddy server where I was going to create each subdomain just for the purpose of asking Google via WMT to remove it from their index. But apparently economy accounts at goDaddy take a subdomain and redirect it like this: subdomain.example.com -> example.com/subdomain.

I don't know if Google will even recognize these as the same things if I try a verify and removal.
1:28 am on Jan 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

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



So if when I try to go to a subdomain like mail.example.com, my DNS had wildcards allowed, so it sends the browser to my site at goDaddy. But then is goDaddy intervening before the browser can arrive at my server and redirecting to this default.secureserver.net page?

you can use nslookup to find the IP address of a hostname.
so 'nslookup www.example.com' should resolve your HTTP server's IP address and 'nslookup mail.example.com' should resolve your SMTP server's IP address.
when you make a web request for mail.example.com you get a response from the catchall virtual host on that IP address which is probably default.secureserver.net's IP address.


But apparently economy accounts at goDaddy take a subdomain and redirect it like this: subdomain.example.com -> example.com/subdomain.

I don't know if Google will even recognize these as the same things if I try a verify and removal.

it depends on whether the status code of the response is a 301 or a 302.
12:48 am on Jan 23, 2014 (gmt 0)



Both subdomain.example.com and example.com/subdomain are returning a 301.
2:04 am on Jan 23, 2014 (gmt 0)

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



what Location: header is returned with those responses?
4:46 am on Jan 23, 2014 (gmt 0)

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



But apparently economy accounts at goDaddy take a subdomain and redirect it like this: subdomain.example.com -> example.com/subdomain

Do you mean redirect literally? 301, 302, 30x, user-agent instructed to make a new request? Or do you just mean rewrite/proxy/alias? There's no physical way to make "subdomain.example.com", what with the lack of four-dimensional servers, so the request always gets rewritten in some way. example.com/subdomain/ is probably the most common physical setup.
2:48 am on Jan 24, 2014 (gmt 0)



When I used web-sniffer.net to search for subdomain.example.com it says the Location is example.com/subdomain/

@lucy24: Sorry I'm not sure how to check about your redirection question.

I can say that I seem to have found the way to fix my problem. To get the subdomains out of Google:

1. Added the subdomain in goDaddy
2. Added an A-record for the subdomain at my name server
3. Added WMT txt record in order to verify the subdomain in google Webmaster Tools
4. Submitted a removal request in WMT for the whole subdomain.
5. Subdomains are being removed within a few hours of the request submission

Once I've removed all the indexed subdomains this way, I will turn off the wildcards at my name server since that appears to be the origin of the problem. Although I still don't understand why Google indexed these subdomains in the first place. They weren't ever linked to or used, to my knowledge.

I am a little surprised this has worked since I thought Webmaster Tools required 404 or 410 header return to allow URL removal requests and I havent set up any .htaccess for the subdomains, which are returning 301 based on the header checker tool I'm using.
5:30 am on Jan 24, 2014 (gmt 0)

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



I thought Webmaster Tools required 404 or 410 header return to allow URL removal requests

No, you can also slap a "noindex" tag on existing pages, or
:: insert boilerplate about how misleading this one is ::
exclude a directory in robots.txt

Re-read the text in wmt and you'll see some blahblah about what might happen 3 months down the line when your removal request expires.
5:59 am on Jan 24, 2014 (gmt 0)



Hah yeah I noted the removal request expiration so I was a little worried. I'm just gonna hope that Google would agree it would be silly to try and bring back into the index pages that will continue to show a server error if you try to access them.

I'm also dealing with the fact that some of the indexed pages I want to get rid of go: subdomain.www.domain.com

My procedure above won't work for these because goDaddy understandably won't allow me to add a domain that goes subdomain.www

I'm awaiting to see what happens with a pending request to Google to remove one of these for outdated content. They have a tool that lets you request removal for sites you don't control.
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