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  1. #1
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    What to do with "not found errors" in google webmaster tools results...

    I run several blogs running wordpress and I get several Not Found results in google webmaster tools.

    I was wondering what I should be doing with these results.

    Should I create a redirect from the false URL to the page it should be going to?

    Also, how do these URL's come about?

    I presume there is a link to the URL directing the google bot to look for it.

    Is there a way of finding the out of date link and updating it?

  2. #2
    Google Zombie ssandecki's Avatar
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    You have broken links somewhere on your site, or you deleted a post that was already indexed. You can use the Google Webmaster's Central url removal tool to remove them.

  3. #3
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    Sweet, thanks for the info.

    Is there a way of finding where the broken link is on my site?

  4. #4
    Google Zombie ssandecki's Avatar
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    I would assume you could run a sitemap generator and it would report any bad links that it finds.

  5. #5
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    I found this plugin for wordpress:

    http://w-shadow.com/blog/2008/02/18/...in-version-03/

    Which finds all the outbound broken links on your wordpress install. I spent the afternoon clearing up several hundred links to now dead websites and several internal ones as well.

    I have also managed to get a proper robots.txt file.

    So....

    I am guessing I will give it another crawl cycle and review the 404's

    I found a firefox plugin that is meant to show your inbound links for any given URL but it didn't give me one meaningful result. (https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/60)

    The other thing I learned is that if google resolves a URL it will keep coming back, even if it only resolves once and gets 404's ad infinitum afterwards. The crawl frequency does lower though.

    You can manually remove these from within google webmaster tools, something I will try once the crawl cycle has been and gone.

    One option people maybe tempted with is to just put a blanket 301 redirect on their 404's, however this is apparently not a good idea, read this:

    http://www.mcanerin.com/EN/articles/...-404-error.asp

    It is from 2005 though so I do not know if it out of date.

    Anyway hopefully some of my research today will help someone else, any feedback would be great from others.

  6. #6
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    I don't think outbound broken links will be shown as 404 not found error in your google webmasters panel, all of those are internal links pointing to your site which are broken. One of the reason is because of the people who make mistake while linking to your site, and add a link which doesn't exists. Wait it out, it will go away after some time.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by dman_2007 View Post
    I don't think outbound broken links will be shown as 404 not found error in your google webmasters panel, all of those are internal links pointing to your site which are broken. One of the reason is because of the people who make mistake while linking to your site, and add a link which doesn't exists. Wait it out, it will go away after some time.
    A good percentage of the outbound links were to other pages on the site, I just used that nomenclature to denote that it analyzes links that you create, rather than links from other sites.

    My understanding is that broken links will not go away unless someone corrects them, the bots just keep going.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyrillsneer7 View Post
    Sweet, thanks for the info.

    Is there a way of finding where the broken link is on my site?
    I am afraid you can not see them all. Google described them very well in the Webmaster Tools Diagnostics: "Googlebot found these pages either in your Sitemap or by following links from other pages during a discovery crawl" I had for example old pages that I had removed, found by Google on other sites that have linked to that pages.
    I short, just check regularly Google Webmaster Tools and submit them for removal.

  9. #9
    SitePoint Addict learnerseo's Avatar
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    Thank you for this post cyrillsneer7. I too was puzzled with this 'not found errors'.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyrillsneer7 View Post
    A good percentage of the outbound links were to other pages on the site, I just used that nomenclature to denote that it analyzes links that you create, rather than links from other sites.
    Well, then you are using the term outbound link incorrectly, it denotes the link which when followed will lead you to a site different then the current one.

    My understanding is that broken links will not go away unless someone corrects them, the bots just keep going.
    Yes, you're right my mistake, bot will keep coming for URL as long as it can find a link to that page, which might be present on a site which you don't control, you'd have to manually remove it from google webmasters panel as rnikolov suggested.

  11. #11
    SitePoint Evangelist zeruel's Avatar
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    Oh that's a new information for me. Thanks a lot on that...


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