• Resolved XyZed

    (@xyzed)


    Hi. This is related to SEO and I used to use Joost plugin until I removed it and installed The SEO Framework. I don’t know if something has gone wrong..

    I’ve just discovered that for some reason my home page appears to be duplicated hundreds of times. I received a notification from google about a page “MY_site”.co.uk/page/22/. That’s weird I thought, there’s no such page. But when I went there I was taken to my home page.
    It seems if I go to my home page URL and add /page/22/ I go to my home page. In fact whatever page number I add (just tried /page/520) it takes me to my home page.

    I wondered if it was somehow just being redirected but the URL in the browser shows MY SITE/page/520

    Am I missing something or is this crazy? Does anyone know how to explain it please? It also does it on another of my sites, but the other 2 I run all return page not found errors, which is what I would expect.

    Andy

    The page I need help with: [log in to see the link]

Viewing 4 replies - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
  • Plugin Author Sybre Waaijer

    (@cybr)

    Hi Andy,

    The SEO Framework (TSF) redirects search engine crawlers from the “/page/xx/” pages to the homepage via the canonical URL as part of its SEO attack protection. WordPress erroneously displays content on these non-existing endpoints.

    Now, Google might’ve found those pages by accident because they follow anything that even remotely resembled a link–even those not visible, like feed links. Google has also proven to show alerts about new issues on content processed years ago.

    It’s possible that WordPress or Yoast SEO showed broken links to Google by accident before you enabled TSF. And it is also likely Google crawled those /page/xx pages before you’ve enabled TSF.

    If Google says that they ignore all /page/xx URLs from the homepage, and marks them as duplicated, while preferring the non-paginated homepage, then you need not take any action. This issue should resolve automatically over time since, with TSF, the canonical URLs of those non-existing pages point correctly to the homepage. See the attached image below.

    I hope this explains the situation 🙂 Google will periodically re-crawl all found URLs from your website, processing the new canonical URLs. So, I don’t think you need to take any action, as the correct homepage is prominently displayed in SERP.

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 10 months ago by Sybre Waaijer. Reason: Additional information
    Thread Starter XyZed

    (@xyzed)

    Many thanks. It did seem to be very puzzling behaviour but if you say it’s nothing to worry about I will forget it. For some reason it doesn’t do it on two of my other WordPress websites which added to the puzzlement. I’ve just checked, and it even does it on this WordPress site https://wordpress.org/page/252/

    Plugin Author Sybre Waaijer

    (@cybr)

    Google first needs a link before it starts to crawl all those pages aimlessly. They can obtain such a link by mistake on your site, or someone else nefariously (or accidentally) added it elsewhere on the web.

    As a real-world example, I recently attacked The SEO Framework’s website by accident, via our shortlink-service “tsf.fyi” example-links (example broken page). It caused a few dozen URLs to be indexed, which shouldn’t have existed.

    It forced me to create a more advanced SEO query-attack mitigation, which I’m going to ship in the next update. I documented the cause of this issue in the comments of the code. Other than me shooting myself in the foot, I haven’t seen this attack utilized elsewhere… yet.

    In the image below, you can see there’s a sudden spike of pages being covered of TSF’s website. After I implemented the new protection, it took three weeks to resolve.

    Just now, you provided a link for Google to crawl the broken WordPress.org page. WordPress incorrectly points the canonical URL of that page to https://wordpress.org/252/. Depending on your permalink settings, this may be harmful. In the case of WordPress.org, it’s mitigated via a 404 response.

    In any case, you’ve been spared from this attack automatically 🙂 Slowly, you should see Google start removing those broken links from their coverage.

    Thread Starter XyZed

    (@xyzed)

    OOPs 🙂 Thanks very much Sybre.

Viewing 4 replies - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
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