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I've just crawled my website in Screaming Frog and I have around 6K Internal URLs and 4K external URLs. Then I looked in GSC and saw that Google indexed 50K pages.

How is that possible?

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  • If Google indexes more pages on your website than actually exist, then you need to look at why. Look at the pages indexed. It could be misunderstood page variables, you might have been hacked and are serving spam/malware, your 404 page might not be returning the correct error and something is linking to nonexistent URLs on your website. – GeoffAtkins Dec 2 '19 at 6:32
  • Thank you for the help !! I am going to look at it :) – SEO Newbie 18 Dec 3 '19 at 16:09
  • @GeoffAtkins - I have a page called "Routes" where you have the option to choose a mode of transportation: train/airplane/bike. Once you chose your transportation mode, you land to the "train comparison page" and then you can compare what's the best route for you (i.e London to Paris vs London to Barcelona). I've realized that Google has crawled all the possible combinations. Is there a specific code I need to implement to avoid that? Thanks ! – SEO Newbie 18 Dec 4 '19 at 0:17
  • @GeoffAtkins Thanks for your recommendations! I've realized that the previous person submitted a sitemap with all the transportation modes with the different combinations. Ok I will try to implement your recommendations! Thanks again :) – SEO Newbie 18 Dec 4 '19 at 23:52
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Pages serving content depending on parameters aren't necessarily a problem for Google, unless they have essentially duplicate content to each other.

There are several ways of handling this:

Noindex: Add a no-index tag to the results pages which serve this duplicated content or disallow spidering in the robots.txt file. This will instruct Google to simply not include these pages in their index. You can follow this up with a manual instruction through Google Search Console to remove these pages from the index (although they will disappear after a short while, anyway).
https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/93710?hl=en

rel="canonical": Specify to Google that these pages are essentially copies of another page using the meta rel="canonical" tag, so that Google understands that these pages should be seen as simply another URL to access the same data as elsewhere.
https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/139066?hl=en

URL Parameters Tool: Google Search Console includes a parameters tool which gives you the ability to explain your parameters and ensure that Googlebot understands which parameters lead to duplicate content. This can be more helpful if you have non-standard session ID values stored in GET variables within the URL. https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/6080548?hl=en

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