dc_dalton — 2012-04-15T10:10:00-04:00 — #1
I was reading an article this morning about the Panda problems certain sites have seen so I decided to check my site and noticed some really strange results. Using site:davidcdalton.com I am seeing listings for pages that are:
a) the first word of an existing page
b) a word for a page that never existed (like /employment or /TITLE)
What in the heck have these people done and is there a way to fix it with them? My page names and URL structure haven't changed in at least 5 years and I have never had a problem like this. Looks pretty pathetic when within the first 10 results there are 6 php include errors (which I will fix but plain and simple these pages never existed or are one word of an existing page)
stevie_d — 2012-04-15T13:01:14-04:00 — #2
I don't know if it's the case here, but a common problem is when people put links to a page but manage to foul up the URL, maybe by missing off the end of it, or misremembering the file/page name. Google can then pick up on these erroneous links, and index them as though they were genuine pages – particularly if your server is configured to give a 200 A-OK or a 301/302 redirect rather than a genuine 404 error when asked for a non-existent page.
Although I'm seeing these dud pages doing a site search (along with various cPanel pages that you really don't want to be encouraging robots to visit), are they coming up in regular organic search results? If not then it is unlikely to be a big deal, hardly any potential customers will be doing a site-restricted search so won't see these pages. If there are any pages that are appearing that shouldn't, I would recommend slapping a redirect on them to point them to the most appropriate page that does exist, and you can also request their removal in GWT.