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I'm very confused and at a loss here, so bare with me.

We were updating our Google search plugin for our domain, when I noticed odd behaviors in the Google search results:

  • fod.oursite.com
  • foood.oursite.com
  • fd.oursite.com

Are showing up in the Google indexing search results. We have nothing in our database that indicates these domains and nothing redirecting in our app/web servers. We have a domain called 'food.oursite.com', but why are these variations indexed?

Any ideas what cause this?

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Do those subdomains show actual pages? –  DisgruntledGoat Jun 5 '13 at 19:03
    
Yes - They are exact replicas of the existing. For instance, foood.oursite.com/berries/24 would go to the same page as www.oursite.com/berries/24 –  user2124871 Jun 5 '13 at 19:04

2 Answers 2

I'd suggest checking your server settings as well as see if you can find any links to those subdomains. I've see in the past where poorly configured servers will show a 200 OK status on any URL as long as portions of the URL are correct (IE food.domain.com/123, fod.domain.com/123 etc. will all return a 200 status and the same content). This can also happen via the URL mapping systems in some coding frameworks.

Since they are all common misspellings of the actual URL it would be very easy for someone to add a link to the misspelled URL by accident (and have it render properly for them so they don't ever notice the misspelling). Then viola Google follows the link and indexes made up subdomains.

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So we tackled the redirect for our web server so that anyone coming from <trash>.oursite.com will be redirected to www.oursite.com. Will this solve the problem eventually (in that Google will re-index and ignore these sites since they now throw 301s)? –  user2124871 Jun 5 '13 at 19:06
    
@user2124871 Yes it should solve the problem, just give it a few weeks. Personally though I would set up the domain so that any random subdomain simply doesn't work, and shows the same error as if you type a non-existent domain into your browser. –  DisgruntledGoat Jun 5 '13 at 23:54
    
I agree with DisgruntledGoat, it should do the trick and you should lock in the URLs so it doesn't happen in the future. You may be able to speed up the process of getting the URLs removed by requesting it through your webmaster tools dashboard (I haven't used it myself so I don't know how effective it is, but I figure it's not likely to slow the process down). –  Joshak Jun 6 '13 at 14:56

The Googlebot will automatically try to create shortcuts from links that it thinks will be helpful to visitors and then lists them in the search results. See this for more information: Sitelinks

As indicated there, you can simply "Demote" the sitelink URL's you don't want displayed in the search results:

Webmaster Tools -> Configuration -> Sitelinks -> Demote this sitelink URL

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Interesting - Any idea why this is the case? It appears that it is taking on of our domains (food.oursite.com) and making different variations of it (fd.oursite.com, fod.oursite.com, foood.oursite.com, etc). I'd like for this to not happen, as it looks horrible. We've added the variations to the webmaster tools, but I dont know if that will work and I'm reading we'd have to update after 90 days. Is this true? –  user2124871 Jun 5 '13 at 18:48
    
Didn't have a chance to reply till now. There could be malformed links in your content or sitemap, server configuration issues, or CNAME records to subdomains that no longer exist. In addition to demoting the sitelink, you should also specify that the subdomains be skipped in your robots.txt file. –  dan Jun 6 '13 at 0:27

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