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Does anyone know why Craft CMS generates continual 404 errors for things like the following:

  • ?p=1504
  • tag/tag.js
  • newsdetail.asp?
  • module/mod_novasfh?

Even after clearing or 301 redirecting 404 errors, a few days later, they explode again and create hundreds of errors in Search Console/Webmaster Tools

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    Is there a live example of these errors occurring? Is newsdetail.asp? an actual page on your site? – Bryan Redeagle Sep 9 '15 at 15:05
  • They're not actual pages on the website. They're just the url followed by numbers or search queries or modules. So it may be mysite.com/module/123590 or it may be mysite.com/?myname@mysite.com and they would both appear as 404 errors. The pages that link to those 404's are just the contact us page or the product pages but the links aren't broken when I check those pages. That's why it's so odd. – tiger2015 Sep 16 '15 at 13:05
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Where are the links coming from? A Template?

"?p=1504" should not 404, if it's attached to the end of an existing "200" url.

Do a crawl with an app called "Screaming Frog" to determine where your 404s are actually coming from then you can fix in your templates.

Sounds like your just sweeping the actual problem under the carpet and not fixing the source of the problem!

  • Indeed. It's finding the source of the problem that's the...problem. Trying Screaming Frog now, to see if that shows anything. So far, I haven't been able to find any broken links on the site or anything that leads to a 404 just by clicking or searching myself. It seems to be coming from referral traffic. – tiger2015 Sep 16 '15 at 13:23
  • Ok so is this a new site that you've made to replace an existing one? Are you only seeing these errors in webmaster tools or something? If the pages do not exist anymore they should 404... – joep Sep 17 '15 at 8:20
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Just doing a quick google tells me mod_novasfh is a Joomla module and newsdetail.asp is a piece of code from an Entrallweb product. Neither are likely related to your website and both are old pieces of code with security vulnerabilities.

Why google is crawling is crawling the links is the real question. It could be referral spam where hackers are putting up random links to your website. Usually these could come from a couple domains, so just tell google to disavow the links. You can also try blocking the referrers on the server level with some .htaccess or nginx trickery.

Another possibly: Is your website/server hacked? Monitor your own server's logs and see what's going on. If you recently moved on from something like WordPress or Joomla, make sure those products are not still hiding somewhere on your server where hackers are injecting the links.

If you have old installs of software and those websites still accessible on the internet, hackers tend to find them and exploit ancient versions. (Websites that link to you could also fall victim to this though that's less likely.) phpmyadmin is another common one that people tend to use and then forget about; the older version then gets exploited.

  • Checked for hacking. Doesn't look like it, the server is fine. Just every hour or so, in the log file, I'll see the following (Level: Warning Category: Application Message: 404 - ) I can't see where that application is or where the warning is coming from until it appears in Search Console the next day. – tiger2015 Sep 16 '15 at 13:08
  • Take a peek at you server's error and transfer logs, they'll be able to show you the referring site if there are any. Craft's utils web page only shows the error message, go into the actual craft.log file itself (defaults in craft/storage/runtime/logs). – RitterKnight Sep 16 '15 at 18:11

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