I have a bog standard WordPress 4.2.1 site. I recently added it to Webmaster Tools and it is showing me URL errors (404s) that are linked from a weird URL: http://com.example.www/:http

(I have replaced my domain name with 'example'.)

There are two URL errors shown in Crawl > Crawl Errors > Smartphone:

  • mobile/
  • m/

When I click on either of this items, a popup appears telling me that Google could not crawl the page because it is non existent (which is true). When I click the Linked From tab, it shows that it is linked from http://com.example.www/:http

Where is this weird URL coming from?


The .htaccess is as follows:

# Begin default subdomain redirect #
RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^example.co.uk
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.example.co.uk/$1 [R=permanent,L]

RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^example.com
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.example.com/$1 [R=permanent,L]
# End default subdomain redirect #

# BEGIN WordPress
<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteRule ^index\.php$ - [L]
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteRule . /index.php [L]
# END WordPress
  • 1
    Although not the cause of the problem, you should escape the dots in the CondPattern eg. ^example\.co\.uk
    – MrWhite
    Commented Apr 28, 2015 at 21:25
  • This is not WordPress-specific. It's happening on a handful of my sits as well. I thought it might be a fluke but if it's happening to others it's a good question to ask here. Commented Apr 29, 2015 at 13:12
  • It just seems to be Google randomly guessing that these subdirectories should exist. Even on sites where there's no redirection going on through htaccess or similar, I'm getting these errors since mid-April.
    – TZHX
    Commented May 5, 2015 at 10:49
  • This sounds really weird, I'd love to dig in to see where they came from on our side (I work at Google). Is there a chance you could send me the actual URL? Commented May 6, 2015 at 8:07
  • @JohnMueller I have attempted to send you a message from your website, although I was shown an error message (arning: stripslashes() expects parameter 1 to be string, array given in /home/johnmuco/public_html/wp-content/plugins/enhanced-wordpress-contactform/wp-contactform.php on line 124). Commented May 6, 2015 at 8:33

1 Answer 1


Do you have any .htaccess redirects other than the default WordPress redirects? Have you moved from another website recently or changed URL structure?

No harm running a quick crawl of your site with Xenu or Screaming Frog.

Sometimes you find weird stuff in Webmaster Tools usually from other people's websites, inbound links to pages that don't exist etc. It usually isn't worth losing sleep over.

  • Yep, this would seem to fall in the "weird" category I think. AFAIK www is not a valid TLD, so to be "linked from" such a URL would appear to be impossible?!
    – MrWhite
    Commented Apr 28, 2015 at 21:29
  • Yeah I wouldn't worry. If a Xenu turns up nothing weird, and no weird htaccess stuff I think you can just mark it as fixed in GWT. Commented May 2, 2015 at 0:00
  • I have marked it as fixed, but after a few days the error appears again, and I again have to mark it as fixed. Commented May 6, 2015 at 22:18

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