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I'm starting to get some errors in Google Search Console from "broken links" that are outputting 404s for wrong URLs that are somehow coming from external websites.

I see different websites (domains) linking my site and I am starting to get errors like this:

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Now I could disavow those domains but that's something that I cannot manually check every day. My question is, should I implement some sort of redirect? I am assuming that's not something good either because I would then get redirect errors I suppose. I don't know how can I avoid them and whether that's something to worry and can be avoidable.

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There is nothing to worry about in this case, especially because your pages show a 404 error anyway and therefore nothing negative is inherited. Google simply shows all 404 pages found by the crawler and the referring page along with it. This information can or can not be helpful to the webmaster, but there is simply no way for Google to tell. Usually you would use this report to create missing redirects for URLs with external links after a URL migration or use it to discover broken links within your own site. In your case, you just have to learn to ignore it. ;)

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Further to Tobias' answer, this is a large scale spam issue that has been noted by many people in the SEO field over the past couple of weeks.

It appears a large network of thousands of hacked sites are linking out to millions of innocent website's. The telltale is the use of an actual URL on your website followed by /1000

Barry Schwartz at SERoundtable covered the online discussions about this last week here: https://www.seroundtable.com/google-search-console-404-error-report-1000-urls-36728.html

If your site is correctly returning 404 responses for these URLs, then there's nothing to worry about. At the very most it'll use up some of your crawl budget, but that's unlikely to be something you'd even notice.

What the purpose of this event was is hard to say. We'll possibly find out when whoever is behind it takes their next step. If you use WordPress, do make sure you're fully up to date with patches, and for any plugins you use.

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  • Thanks for this. Indeed I was thinking mainly about the crawl budget which I didn’t want to use to crawl those. If there is nothing that can be done then fine. A 404 is returned anyway but adds pollution to the report too…not a major deal though Jan 24 at 21:07

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