My site has this page (URL) that actually exists on my site example.com/ranking/rankings-of-nike-running-shoes

but somehow I can see the following versions in SERPs (these URLs are not physically available on my site):

  • example.com/ranking/rankings-of-rankings-of-rankings-of-nike-running-shoes
  • example.com/ranking/rankings-of-rankings-of-nike-running-shoes

I even started getting traffic from these URLs that are in Google's index.

So, only the first one actually existins on my site:

  1. example.com/ranking/rankings-of-nike-running-shoes

  2. example.com/ranking/rankings-of-rankings-of-rankings-of-nike-running-shoes

  3. example.com/ranking/rankings-of-rankings-of-nike-running-shoes

I'm not sure how the latter two - 2) and 3) - got in Google's index. What do I do with them? My idea is to 301 redirect them to the actual page that exists example.com/ranking/rankings-of-nike-running-shoes

Do I need to also somehow remove the faulty URLs - 2) and 3) - from Google's index or 301 redirecting is enough?

  • Your WP site was hacked.
    – closetnoc
    Aug 14, 2017 at 0:32
  • Fix your site, make sure your WP, themes, and plug-ins are up to date and not currently vulnerable. Once done, simply wait. It will all work out. Cheers!!
    – closetnoc
    Aug 14, 2017 at 1:56
  • I'm not so sure this was a hack, as opposed to just a mis-configuration. It sounds like the shortest version of these URLs is supposed to exist and longer versions just return the same content. Aug 14, 2017 at 12:50

1 Answer 1


I'm not sure how the latter two - 2) and 3) - got in Google's index. What do I do with them?

First off, attempt to access these "faulty" URLs and see where they actually take you. Check your browser address bar for the final URL. If the domain is NOT the same as your web server, then the search engine may be faulty or someone may be hacking it.

If however the domain is officially the same as what was presented in the search results and its the same as your web server domain then its possible someone hacked any of your files (or even the server configuration itself).

If you are using a CMS (such as wordpress), then you may want to backup any important files and reinstall it and use only wordpress add-ons that have no security vulnerabilities.

If however the "faulty" URLs you describe point to separate HTML pages on your server you can direct search engines to not index those pages by adding the following line between <head> and </head> in the HTML file contents:


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