How can I handle the Swedish, Danish and Russian characters in URLs so that Webmaster tools would stop returning 404 errors.

Note that opening the URL using the character "as is" is fine, but Google encodes the characters such as:

ä becomes %25C3%25A4 and ö becomes %25C3%25B6.

Any help would be appreciated.

  • %25C3%25A4 is "doubly" encoded, so for some reason Google thinks your URLs contain the literal string %C3%A4, not ä. (?)
    – MrWhite
    Nov 5 '15 at 11:40
  • Probably so. What can I do in this case? I mean is it best all together to replace these characters?
    – M O H
    Nov 5 '15 at 15:28
  • Well, Google doesn't normally get this sort of thing wrong, so it would seem that it's picking these (incorrectly encoded and broken) URLs up from somewhere? As Matthew suggests in his answer, where is Google getting these URLs from?
    – MrWhite
    Nov 5 '15 at 16:50
  • Yeah I found out where these are being picked from. These has been placed by other website owner obviously, how can I control that?
    – M O H
    Nov 7 '15 at 7:55

Can you correct the broken link at the source? Also, have you confirmed the source of the error is incorrect (are you sure that the link is really broken and this is not a crawler issue)?

To find out the origin of the link, click on the 404 error and then look at the "Linked From" tab. Check out the links listed there and see if the links pointing to your site are actually broken or not. If they are broken, hopefully you can correct at the source (either on your site or by reaching out to the other site).

enter image description here

You can also look at redirecting URLs with special characters by using regex. Here are some links to other Q&As that could help with that in htaccess:

Though, I've also had an easier time catching these errors on the 404 error page itself. You can write server-side code to check the URL before the 404 response is fired to see if it matches one of these characters. If there is a match, redirect before the 404 is returned.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.