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I need to reset an account which is erroneously showing thousands of pages "not found" which do not exist in the sitemaps.

I think if I remove the property then add it back in Google might lose all that bad data.

I tried sending a note to Google help but zero feedback.

Is that a reasonable course of action?

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2 Answers 2

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Removing a property and then putting it back will NOT reset it or remove bad data. Google Search Console is more like a view into Google's info about your site rather than a report that is created for you from scratch after the property is created.

XML sitemaps are not the only place that Googlebot finds URLs. Google Search Console will report on "not found" URLs that it finds from:

  • Links on your site
  • Links to your site from other sites
  • Submitting forms on your site
  • JavaScript literals in your code that look like they could be URL paths

Look at where Google says it found the URLs. If they are from your own site, make sure you aren't accidentally linking to bad URLs. You should also check if your site is hacked by scanning it for malware. Malware infections often create lots of bad URLs.

If the URLs aren't supposed to have content, aren't linked from your site, and aren't produced by malware, then there is nothing for you to do. There will always be error pages reported as "not found" and it won't hurt your site in any way. Almost all sites have some such error pages in their Google Search Console report. Google actually considers it a positive sign that your site is showing the appropriate error for a URLs that you didn't create on purpose.

I've seen enough people here that want a clean report out of Google Search Console that I've written about it in my blog: SEO Myth: Every error listed in Google Search Console needs to be fixed

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  • This is a "Links to your site from other sites". An external site unrelated created 8000 pseudo links spam and then the site poofed. I've run Securi and other malware as well as searched the database tables for any instance and none. Nothing in the sitemaps. GSC seems stuck. I've used GSC for 10years or so and this is the first anomaly like this I've had to deal with. Site has around 5000 legit pages. GSC shows 10K not found. Eg. gk4177.johnsonstainless.com/kRM7CWbc.html as referring source
    – Craigk
    Apr 14, 2023 at 14:49
  • What does "the site poofed" mean? Are you seeing problems other than a large error report? Apr 14, 2023 at 14:50
  • There is no way to prevent other sites from creating bad links to your site. There is no way to stop Googlbot from finding those links. There is no way to prevent Google from reporting those to you in the 404 error report. However, I've never seen a such links cause any other problems for a site. If it were possible to cause problems for other sites by creating bad links to them, black hats would be constantly launching negative SEO campaigns against their competitors. Apr 14, 2023 at 14:53
  • To be sure the "not found" pages are generally tags from Yoast and in Kanji/Japanese with embedded spam URL. Referring page gk4177.johnsonstainless.com/kRM7CWbc.html -- kioskindustry.org/tags/办理假阿尔巴尼亚大学毕业证(⏩制作网址bbjjzz.com⏪)办理假阿尔巴尼亚大学毕业证mGtM办理假阿尔巴尼亚大学毕业证icTw办理假阿尔巴尼亚大学毕业证hvEg(⏩制作网址bbjjzz.com⏪)办理假阿尔巴尼亚大学毕业证vMW0办理假阿尔巴尼亚大学毕业证
    – Craigk
    Apr 14, 2023 at 14:55
  • I'm not too worried about them. I do wish I didn't 10,000 missing pages for going on 3 months now...I thought Google would eventually drop them.
    – Craigk
    Apr 14, 2023 at 14:56
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No, it wont make any change. Google will keep all the data. You can remove the links manually and disallow using robots.txt. Gradually google will remove those data.

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