We had a misconfigured validation of a wildcard route which returned 200 for every route. This causes an increasing of 404 errors in Google Search Console for unknown routes of the following schema:


We can exclude a misconfiguration of the application which generates the these kind of routes. We do not generate any routes with .html ending. I know that it doesn't impact our rankings but I'm really interested in the cause of these urls.

Does it come from external linking ? But why and how ? Does anybody have seen such issue?

1 Answer 1


Most commonly unknown 404's come from third party linking either mis-spelling a link, or as appears in this case, randomly creating a whole heap of links in the hope that something links. Basically it is safe to ignore these 404 errors. The fact that GWT shows them as 404 errors means in all likelihood your 404's are correctly returning hard 404's that Google can detect.

  • But what is the motivation for this kind of third party linking and how does it happen ? There must be a page existing which includes the link to my page ? Can I submit URLs in a sitemap for a diffrent domain without confirmation ?
    – Stephan
    Mar 2, 2017 at 9:56
  • As part of the sitemap standard it needs to be in the root of the pages you are trying to add. In other words a sitemap located at example.com/sitemap.xml can list any pages and sub directories within the example.com domain but a sitemap at example.com/images/sitemap.xml can only list pages under the images directory and not anything under say example.com/catalog. Due to this restriction someone cant add a sitemap to their own site listing pages on your domain. These links have to exist as A links within pages on the net for Google to have picked them up. Mar 2, 2017 at 10:00
  • As for the motivation some badly authored SEO sites are written in such a way as to imply that links on site A can benefit from the ranking of site B if they link to site B. Now this is completely inaccurate but people sometimes still do it. I have tried searching for the links in Google to see if they may come up to indicate what pages have those links on them but they aren't showing up. The best thing you can do, in fact the only thing you can really do is just ignore them, they are not affecting your site and there is no real way to prevent it. Mar 2, 2017 at 10:02

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