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Pages Indexed Quantity And Errors Question


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4 replies to this topic

#1 jmatura

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 01:23 PM

I have an older website that has gone through many updates in the past along with a huge dropp in traffic over the last few months.  In an effort to clean things up in looking at my g webmaster tools account I have a few questions.

 

While my site map consists of 78 pages Health/Index Status of g webmasters tools indicates 183 pages which is not accurate. 

 

Health/Crawl Status of g webmaster tools indicates 324 errors.  When clicking on this box there are pages listed here that haven’t existed for years with a detection date within the last few months.  All pages indicate a return of 404. When clicking on several of these pages and then the Linked From tab once again pages are listed that haven’t existed for years.

 

Any insight as to what is happening here along with advice to resolve these issues?  Could this be hurting my rankings?  Thanks



#2 Jill

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 02:25 PM

Where does wmt show they're finding links to those URLs? Are they internal? If so you'll want to fix those.  You could also redirect the old URLs to new ones, but it's not inherently bad to have 404 errors as long as your not internally linking to the non-existent pages. 



#3 qwerty

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 02:55 PM

You should also look into the reason Google thinks you have more pages than you do. It may be that your pages can be reached via more than one URL, and that's a situation you want to avoid at best. If, for some reason, it can't be avoided, you should at least make sure that Google is aware of which version of each page is the one you consider to be canonical.

 

Check Webmaster Tools to see if Google has found pages with duplicate titles. That's often an indication that you've got individual pages that can be reached via numerous URLs. You can also use the site operator to see what URLs the engine has associated with the domain. That may show you where they're finding pages that you don't want them to count. It's rare these days, but you might find that Google is reaching pages both with and without "www" in the URL, and is counting those two URLs as individual pages. The same thing can sometimes happen if a page can be reached via both the http and the https protocols.

 

You need to find out why Google has identified more URLs on the site than you believe you have in order to figure out the best way to get them to drop those extra URLs.



#4 jmatura

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 04:05 PM

Thanks for the replies. 

 

"Where does wmt show they're finding links to those URLs?" - some are being found from outside links but many others are being found from internal pages that no longer exist, for years.  I don't understand this one at all...  Why are these pages not being dropped from their index that haven't existed for years and are returning 404?

 

Pages that were simply moved do have 301 redirects pointing to the new file.

 

"You should also look into the reason Google thinks you have more pages than you do." - I really want to solve this one as it worries me that g could be seeing these extra pages as dup content.  Thank you for the site: operator.  Just did an audit of my site and found several pages that I thought were deleted and were not.  Also found old pages I thought were deleted on my web server and were not.

 

I



#5 qwerty

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 08:39 PM

"Where does wmt show they're finding links to those URLs?" - some are being found from outside links but many others are being found from internal pages that no longer exist, for years.  I don't understand this one at all...  Why are these pages not being dropped from their index that haven't existed for years and are returning 404?

If those pages are returning 404s, they're not in the index. You don't find any of them returned when you run a site search, do you? What's happening is that Google never really stops trying to reach pages that return a 404 response. They check up on them now and then just to make sure they haven't come back. Assuming the pages aren't in Google's index, you don't need to worry about them sending the bot to check on them.






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