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We have been fixing some issues according to the Google Search Console reports. However we have come accross an issue that we dont know where to look for fixing.

As you can see in the image, google crawls pages with a url in the end that has never been created. The url is not our domain but it is one of our client's we used to track their web banner with GA. We removed that banner very long time ago along with the google tracking code.

(We use wordpress and track banners with a html code added in the widgets.)

search console report

If you guys have something in mind about the issue, please let me know.

I have checked the sitemap and there's also no such urls. Thank you

  • How long is a "very long time ago"? What HTTP status do these URLs return? A 404? – MrWhite Feb 26 at 8:29
  • Well, more than 6 months. They all return 404. I also checked the site to see if it is infected with malware but it's clean. – fohteh Feb 26 at 9:05
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You will get such a URL if you incorrectly link to the site having missed off the protocol. For example:

<a href="www.example.com">client site</a>

This is now a relative URL and therefore relative to the current document, so will be resolved as you see in your screenshot. eg. https://mydomain.example/www.example.com.

This is most probably what has happened (even if the link has since been removed).

Given the range of URLs, it does look like this has been used in a common page element on many pages, such as a web banner.

Google will continue to crawl URLs for a considerable time after they have been removed - presumably this returns a 404?

If you are sure this URL has been removed from your site then you need to make sure this URL returns a 410 Gone to expedite its removal. For example, at the top of your .htaccess file using mod_rewrite:

RewriteEngine On

RewriteRule www\.example\.com - [G]
  • Yes, the url has been removed more than 6 months ago. I remember using this url in html widget on side bars along with GA tracking code. But as I said, the url and the tracking code is no longer live. May be some of our posts has this URL for internal linking. Do you think I should also remove the internal links for this url? – fohteh Feb 26 at 9:07
  • "May be some of our posts has this URL for internal linking." - possibly, but the screenshot shows it has been linked to from many different paginated pages. Search results or tag pages? "Do you think I should also remove the internal links for this url?" - not sure what you mean? If the link is valid then you don't need to remove it (unless you want to)? But if you want to remove these invalid URLs from the GSC 404 report then you need to ensure these URLs return a "410 Gone", as opposed to a "404 Not Found" (which can be seen as "temporary" by the search engines). – MrWhite Feb 26 at 9:24

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