Weird 404's on Webmaster Tools - anyone else seeing the same thing?

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  1. Marisa Wright profile image95
    Marisa Wrightposted 7 years ago

    I just checked my Webmaster Tools and can see a sudden, dramatic rise in strange 404 messages - and that rise coincides with my fall in traffic.   Can others check to see if they have the same?    It's as if Google is inserting HubPages' categories into my sub-domain to create non-existent URL's.  For instance:

    http: //

    (I've added a space after the 'p' to stop this being a hyperlink).

    Every one of my Hubs has a fake associated URL like this, which means it looks like half my account is 404'd. Could this be the cause of my traffic drop and why is it happening?  Is it some change in structure at HP or some stuff-up at Google?

    I was going to add an image of my stats but can't make it a reasonable size - how do I do that?

    1. janderson99 profile image63
      janderson99posted 7 years agoin reply to this

      I had 705 errors in early April of this type


      To get a reasonable size image you need to add it to a website and link to it as described under formatting.

    2. janderson99 profile image63
      janderson99posted 7 years agoin reply to this

      is that gap in the URL real ??
      ....... \/
      http: //

      1. Marisa Wright profile image95
        Marisa Wrightposted 7 years agoin reply to this

        No, I did it deliberately so it wouldn't be a live link.

        1. janderson99 profile image63
          janderson99posted 7 years agoin reply to this

          I think the error is created by HP not by Google. HP has to create a host of links for latest, hot etc. and for the categories. These are site wide not associated with the Subs. These errors appear to be associated with the category links being assigned to the SUBS.

          I raised this before with HP but got no response. All 705 of mine happened in the first week of April and none since. Did not seem to affect my traffic which generally mirrors Quantcast for HP.

          Please send a query to Help and see whether you can get further than the nil response I received. Use my example => 705 similar , one for each of my subs and a lot of garbage ones.

    3. lobobrandon profile image90
      lobobrandonposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      I have the same abrupt rise in 404 errors. They are similar to yours. But, my traffic is still at its best levels.But, rankings are fluctuating a bit which is unusual. The top performers the ones on the first are fine. The prob is with those that are ranked lower they keep jumping like they're being electrocuted!

  2. Pearldiver profile image82
    Pearldiverposted 7 years ago

    Ditto.. sad

    This will drop traffic stats for sure! This is Not a Google initiative... I do not believe they have such license with us to do this legally!

    So who is manipulating our traffic??? sad

    Have you considered loading a specific article directly with Google manually?
    What is happening re this issue, on your own sites?

    1. Marisa Wright profile image95
      Marisa Wrightposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      My Hubs are already listed as existing at their correct address, too.

      The issue doesn't exist with my own sites, because they don't exist within a bigger site with a category structure.

      1. Pearldiver profile image82
        Pearldiverposted 7 years agoin reply to this

        I believe a potential smoking gun was placed on the table by the CEO a few days ago... effectively intimating that Google has hit us with a dupe penalty over this...
        But it's always been too easy to pass the G buck card and then offer no other logical communication with the writers...
        The internal topic structure set up 2 years ago by Larry and Fawnita I believe, has been a great link-card for this site and those of us with solid topic authority have always had our hubs used as a linking base for hundreds of others of often inferior nature. sad
        Of course that allowed hubs to become indexed with a greater definition from more definitive and longer tails... This appears to have now changed.. yet HP seem to have intentionally directed our hubs into this problem. I noticed a while back, that HP had actually completely changed one of my hub URLs into a totally different category from what I had published it under!  At the time they had even featured the article and listed it as 'Hot' under their new regime! I changed it back to the original category as I had intended it to be and since then... it's had no traffic!  Need I say more? roll
        As you know major changes have occurred and those changes were promoted as being needed to catch cheats etc... there are certain SEO practices that have been employed here and were at their least 'questionable' over the years.
        Many of those have impacted on genuine writers throughout. Personally, I don't believe those initiatives were abandoned 'willingly' by HP.. I guess over time I have discussed this on many occasions as did many others who are no longer active here. smile Smoke Perhaps???
        Well.. you don't need to be a fireman to understand how fires work! But transparency is always abandoned to or smudged by smoke isn't it! sad

      2. Bendo13 profile image83
        Bendo13posted 7 years agoin reply to this

        Oddly enough I have like 150 every single day!

        If you click the link that had the error and then click the "linked from" it will show you where the broken link is coming from.  Some of mine are from really odd sites, some are from sites I posted a link to BUT if I go to the ones I posted a link to it's actually linked to it correctly so I have no clue why it'd have an error.

        In comparison, a I site that I own and run only has 10 errors for the same time period and it gets close to the same amount of traffic.

        BIG difference in errors.

  3. EmpressFelicity profile image73
    EmpressFelicityposted 7 years ago

    Yes, I've got a few of these too.


    http: //

    as opposed to

    http: //

    (My other - more or less moribund - HP account)

  4. rebekahELLE profile image87
    rebekahELLEposted 7 years ago

    I noticed these last night also. They were detected in early March and early-mid April. I've read the Google help section about it, but still don't understand how they were assigned these strange URL's.  Google help says they're usually not a problem in affecting traffic. But it would be nice to have some sort of explanation as to how they originated. Many of mine come from topic categories, as Marisa posted. I haven't checked the link from on each of them, but when I did check, those links were ok. … er=2409439

  5. janderson99 profile image63
    janderson99posted 7 years ago

    I posted a comment on Paul E's hub about 404's and this was his reply … t-May-2012

    @janderson99 these are different. The 404s in webmastertools are caused by google crawling our js. Those pages are now blocked in the robots.txt, so they should clear up.

    It is so,

    See Blocked URLs  -  robots.txt  in webmasterstools  May 16 2012

    unsure whether this affected traffic ?? But now blocked.

    'google crawling our js'  How dare they be so vulgar!


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