Categories: Webmaster Tools :

Truncated links turning up and being followed!

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Truncated links turning up and being followed! UKTW 11/6/11 4:23 AM
I have read the FAQs and checked for similar issues: YES

My site's URL (web address) is: www.seatchoice.com
Description (including timeline of any changes made):

I noticed a sudden increase in "Not Found" crawl errors in WMT so I decided to investigate ... a number had linked from "not available" at first but these details are now being filled in ...

Taking one of the errors as an example

htt​p:/​/ww​w.s​eat​cho​ice​.co​m/L​ive​rpo​ol/​Liv​.. not found, linked from 4 pages

Nov 2, 2011
Oct 30, 2011
Oct 21, 2011
Oct 18, 2011

Each of these is some kind of spammy link page which actually links to me fine and dandy with the CORRECT url but which has as part of the text the truncated url

A Question of Sport tickets | Liverpool Empire Theatre, Liverpool ...
Buy cheap A Question of Sport tickets for Liverpool Empire Theatre, Liverpool. A Question of Sport details, cast, news, reviews and more.
http://www.seatchoice.com/Liverpool/Liv...

so WHY is WMT reporting this as a "not found" link when the link on that page is fine and its onlyu the text that is truncated???




Re: Truncated links turning up and being followed! ѕquibble 11/6/11 5:32 AM
I have tried to find out about this before - you can see the thread here >

http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/Webmasters/thread?tid=0c6931d7e4bd0107&hl=en

There are more than a few others saying the same regarding incoming links , though apparently - it is just a sudden co-incidence.
Re: Truncated links turning up and being followed! cristina 11/6/11 7:31 AM
I do not know why the links appear as truncated in GWT while they are correct in the referer websites. It is possible that the links were indeed broken in the source code when Googlebot visited those sites and collected the links, or that there are errors in the source code of those sites that confuse bots.
Have a look in your server access logs if you can find other visits to those broken URLs, and see what are  the referer URLs.
Re: Truncated links turning up and being followed! ѕquibble 11/6/11 8:45 AM
Having the same 'problem' myself over a variety of domains, seeing others report the same and seeing the 'links' appear fine on the reported page(s) - I drew the conclusion that looking through source code and log files was not a productive use of time.
Re: Truncated links turning up and being followed! cristina 11/6/11 10:47 AM
The reason I suggested a check of the referer URLs visits to the broken links in the server access logs was for getting more info in order to decide if it is worth redirecting 301 the broken URLs to the correct URLs. It was just a suggestion...
Re: Truncated links turning up and being followed! UKTW 11/7/11 1:39 AM
@StevieD posted this on another question of mine which seems to answer it for me

>>> I have noticed the same issue.  I chased down some of the pages/links

>>> It seems that some low quality sites are showing two urls in a list .... one actual clickable url and one a
>>>nonfunctioning text form of the url.  Their columns are narrow, so the text is being shown over 2-3-4 lines. 
>>>Then some stupid scraper is coming by and picking up the first two lines (or 3), leaving part of the text behind.....
>>>and then converting the text into a real url that is not a real url.
 
>>>Google, via WMT, then reports a 404 error to us, as if all this crap is our fault.

Re: Truncated links turning up and being followed! cristina 11/7/11 3:29 AM
Error 404 does not mean the broken link is considered your fault. In this context "error" is a technical term. The broken link is reported to you in GWT for your information, in case you can or want to do something to fix the broken link. Depending where the broken link is, and if you want people and bots to find the correct URL, redirect 301 the incorrect URL to the corresponding correct URL. If you want to leave the link broken, do not redirect.
Re: Truncated links turning up and being followed! UKTW 11/7/11 4:48 AM
Thanks @cristina ... I shall leave them then ... too many to worry about and only from naff sites by the looks of it
Re: Truncated links turning up and being followed! JohnMu 11/9/11 2:36 AM
Hi UKTW

Those links appear to come from text on those pages. We've started picking up text that looks like URLs on HTML pages and seeing if they lead to new content. Sometimes those links are truncated and useless, but it's easy enough to try them and forget them if they lead nowhere, so we've started doing checking them to be sure. We primarily use these kinds of URLs for discovering new content.

It's similar to how we pick up links in PDFs, text-files, and JavaScript, we just want to make sure that we have as many possible sources of URLs covered as possible :-).

I realize that this can lead to a somewhat cluttered crawl errors section in Webmaster Tools, so we're looking into ways of making that a bit clearer. 

In general, if a URL is really a 404, that's fine for us, and not something that would cause your site any problems in the long run. At any rate, you don't need to "fix" this problem (eg with a 301 redirect), if you're sure that the URL should really not exist. Having 404s listed in Webmaster Tools will generally not affect your site's crawling, indexing, or ranking; it's normal for websites to return 404 for URLs that don't exist.

Hope that helps!
John
Re: Truncated links turning up and being followed! UKTW 11/9/11 2:51 AM
@JohnMu - yes, that helps a lot as I can now ignore those reports and rely on your team to clean it up at some point - it would be nice if it were cleaner as then I could more easily see any real problems but thank you very much for providing this clarification, much appreciated
Re: Truncated links turning up and being followed! UKTW 11/14/11 1:26 AM
Not sure if anyone still reading this thread but ....a secondary concern ... my links are being found on pages such as

http://chess-tips.com/find_sister_act_tickets.html

I cannot believe that google sees this as a "good page", and the links to me from there are "NOFOLLOW"  but I wouldn't link to think that these links, which had nothing to do with me, could damage my credibility as a website ... "links from bad neighbourhood" etc
Re: Truncated links turning up and being followed! ѕquibble 11/14/11 6:18 AM
I would not worry about them, I think it is typical of most sites to pick up spammy links like you have referenced. 

Also - this is relevant >