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I was looking in Google Webmaster Tools and it said I had the following 404 error:

Page          Response Code      Date Detected
lglegl.html   404                11/27/14

The site is for a lawyer but I know without a doubt there is no link pointing to lglegl.html. I have a few other 404s similar to this one that look like typos of the actually link. I check the site and none of these links appear.

While I know 404s don't hurt my rank I am curious as to where and how Google is detecting these 404 errors?

  • 1
    Have clicked the URL in webmaster tools, then clicked the 'Linked From' tab? If you do this it should tell you where it was found. – Max Dec 14 '14 at 3:47
  • @Max - Good tip! I completely overlooked that. – L84 Dec 15 '14 at 5:32
5

If another website is linking to those incorrect URLs (because of a typo) and Google is following those links they will get a 404 page. They may assume that page is supposed to exist because another site is linking to them and are reporting the error to you in case you need to fix it.

Naturally after a while they will stop attempting to crawl that URL since they know it does not exist. But you may want to take advantage of those links be redirecting (301) to the page you believe they should be linking to. That would certainly help anyone who is following that link, too.

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