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I've started noticing a large number (over 25,000) of Google Index Bot requests to pages that don't exist and have never existed. I'm certain I don't link to these URLs myself from within my site.

I'm trying to understand what value there would be for someone nefarious to be linking to URLs that don't exist. My first thought is that a competitor is doing this in order for the Google Bot to hit a lot of 404s and possibly demote the site in it's rankings (but that's just a wild guess).

Any insight into what might be happening here? Happy to share URLs if it's useful.

Other relevant points:

  • I've had this domain for years, so I don't believe these are links from previous owners
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There is a high probability that the problem is in external links. Any new links did you notice in Search Console? In this case Disavow could help. Else theres not much to do.

Second thought: Google tests for errors in dynamically generated URLs. But 25K times? I hardly believe that.

And third: site could be hacked.

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  • I have a feeling it's external links, but unfortunately GSC doesn't help me figure that out.
    – onassar
    Jul 2, 2023 at 23:15
  • Did you try to check in Ahrefs or similar tool? Jul 3, 2023 at 11:43

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