BACKGROUND In November, a former student contacted me that he had about 258 search errors in his Google Search Console. There were 352 pages on his WordPress site, so that is significant.

As can be expected, I found that his site had been hacked. The only back up we could find was one from 2012, which was helpful in retrieving some of the posts, but the rest we had to recreated from archive.org.

CURRENT ISSUE It was my student's intention to copy and paste the posts into the new WordPress install himself, but I don't think he got very far into the process. (Good thing I had backed up the list in a Google Doc.) Now, most of the items previously listed in the Google Search Console are missing, even though only part of them had been marked as fixed.

QUESTION Does Google just purge the URL errors list after a certain amount of time, if no action is taken on those items?

  • 1
    Yeah. They seem to sit out there for a very long time. If you are talking about 404 errors for pages that should not exist, leave it alone. Do not mark them as fixed. Let not let your heart be troubled. For the Google your search engine is on it. Cheers!!
    – closetnoc
    Jan 20, 2017 at 16:48
  • The listings I'm concerned about are all legitimate posts. The Google Search Console URL Errors list was intact before the holidays, and now it only shows the kinds of items that are like category pages and other miscellaneous stuff. We have been very careful to retain the same permalinks as the originals. Jan 20, 2017 at 16:54
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    Good! It sounds like you are on it! My experience has been that notices such as the 404 for pages that should not exist can stick around for quite a long time. Unfortunately, or fortunately, I have not had other issues to know if the errors, otherwise, will disappear. It may be. Sorry. I guess I have been lucky! Cheers!!
    – closetnoc
    Jan 20, 2017 at 16:57
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    Google has a long memory for 404's (years) - think of it being a sign that it's really keen on finding more stuff on the site. Jan 24, 2017 at 19:57
  • Maybe my question is in error. If Google has a long memory for 404's, but the list of 404s was trimmed without our marking them as fixed, then maybe there is more than one 404 criteria? Jan 24, 2017 at 23:05


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