A website I manage is listing numerous crawl errors in Google Search Console for URLs that don't exist on my site and never existed. eg Images/mage.asp?id=buy-my-dodgy-pharmaceuticals-12345.html

When I view the "Linked from" for the link, some of them show the exact same link within my site that the error was for, which doesn't exist. Others show links within my site that do or don't exist, and also external links to other sites that are clearly spam or hacked sites. See the screenshot for an example (my site URL has been censored, but the spam link hasn't).

My site is a Wordpress site with up-to-date software that has been carefully secured using widely recommended techniques. There's no evidence I'm aware of that it's been hacked, and there's no spam comments/content that I'm aware of on the site either.

Why are these pages appearing in my Crawl Errors?

screenshot from Google Search Console

  • We get questions like this a lot! The plain truth of the matter is that most hacks are not terribly sophisticated. It is possible that your site was targeted but not compromised and another site is simply making links to hacked pages that it assumes have been created on your site. What the pay off is is anyone's guess. Generally, these are used to spam search and attract users. For what reason, who knows? If your site has not been hacked, do not worry about them. They will disappear eventually. No harm, no foul. – closetnoc Jun 6 '17 at 7:25
  • Although if the "Linked from" URL is a "link within your site" then that would seem to suggest your site was hacked (or a vulnerability was exploited)? Google shouldn't report a "linked from" page unless "at some point" Google found a link from that page. (This may have been something that only Googlebot saw, not real users?) – DocRoot Jun 6 '17 at 8:23
  • @DocRoot the web hosting account is shared Linux hosting, and the links that are apparently within the site are .asp pages (as per the screenshot), which would be pretty odd for a Linux server. I can't rule it out completely, as a server can be configured to respond to any URL but it seems unlikely. – Highly Irregular Jun 6 '17 at 9:08

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