I've had this rare situation (19 times in the past year, so not a lot) where a 404 turns up an attempted URL that appears to be valid, but differs from the actual URL in that the actual URL has one or more hyphen-minus symbols (hex 2d) and the attempted URL instead has hyphen symbols (hex 2010).

For example, the attempted page was https://www.example.com/projects/folsom‐howard‐streetscape‐project and the actual page is https://www.example.com/projects/folsom-howard-streetscape-project

That URL won't get a 404 any more because I've just now redirected it, but it bothers me as it seems someone would have to go out of their way to type the hex 2010 character.

But https://www.example.com/projects/van‐ness‐improvement‐project will get a 404 if someone enters it in place of https://www.example.com/projects/van-ness-improvement-project as the URL because I haven't corrected it (yet).

This is obviously not a high priority with so few occurrences, but I'm guessing if someone had this issue with an URL they had typed, they wouldn't be able to figure out how to fix it, so it would be nice if there was an easy way to clean these.

But my basic question is, why would this sort of thing happen? Is there some kind of strange auto-correct that is messing up peoples' URLs? Are people going out of their way to type special characters into URLs? Would someone be copying URLs that got messed up when typed into a Word doc?

According to Google Analytics, this is all happening on Windows systems, but in no particular browser.

  • Welcome to Webmasters! We do not allow new users to link to their websites. I have edited your post. If anyone wants to see the original links, they only have to review the edits to get it. As a side note, I did not see any difference between your links so I am not sure that I understand your question. Cheers!!
    – closetnoc
    Nov 2 '19 at 4:29
  • @closetnoc While the URLs look identical, the dash characters are not real dashes. They are some fancy unicode dash replacement. Here they are escaped: https://www.example.com/projects/folsom\u2010howard\u2010streetscape\u2010project Nov 2 '19 at 10:23
  • @StephenOstermiller I could not see it. Since you can, should we place the links in a code tag?? Cheers!!
    – closetnoc
    Nov 2 '19 at 15:22
  • Frequently this is an editor setting. That is, whoever edited the link used an editor set to utf8 encoding and it got shipped that way.
    – Rob
    Nov 2 '19 at 17:16

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