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I have a post (WordPress) that I've tagged with a single keyword. It's the only post that has that tag.

In reviewing my internal links using screaming frog, I noticed that I had a 404 error if I tried to search for example.com/tag/keyword. I've made sure that the post still does in fact have said keyword.

How can this happen? How can I prevent it from showing up in the Google index?

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Can you tell us here that what is that exact 'keyword'? Is it giving you the 404 page if you click on that tag (if visible) on the website (like from a tag cloud widget or from the post meta section, etc)?

my checklist for this starting from the most likely cases:

  • maybe your permalink structure has been modified in the past: Settings > Permalinks > Tag base field?
  • issues also can happen when a post or page also exists with that exact (keyword) slug and the Tag base (/tag) is removed in the permalink settings
  • if there is no automatic redirection (301) set for putting forward slashes at the end of your urls, may also cause 404 (e.g: https://example.com/tag/keyword not = https://example.com/tag/keyword/ )
  • also can be translation issue, if you have a translation plugin: or woocommerce product stock issue i have had problems with both in the past.
  • maybe that tag page is marked 'noindex' in the robots.txt or via a seo plugin?(this only should cause 404 when clicking from google search)
  • is it the same from other browsers? (have you cleared cache, removed cookies (maybe something stuck with those?)
  • are you using some seo plugin e.g. Yoast or Webcraftic Clearfy etc.? Some of those settings may also can cause the 404 issue.
  • which User Agent are you used for your Screaming Frog crawls? Choosing 'Googlebot Regular' in Screaming Frog menu > Configuration > User-agent > 'Preset user agents' dropdown - also throws the same error?

Thinking loudly, what else i would check. Hope it helps.

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