Webmaster Tools Showing 404s for non-links

  • joebert
  • Fart Bubbles
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Post 3+ Months Ago

All of a sudden I had hundreds of 404 errors show up for a couple of sites in Webmaster Tools, and I hadn't changed anything in quite awhile. The URLs of the pages looked strange, they seemed to all be cut off at spaces in an otherwise valid URL. It took me awhile, but I eventually traced them to textboxes on the pages that include clickable code that people can use to link to pages.

Now, I can URL encode the text in these textareas to make the URLs valid, but I find it rather interesting that Google is looking at URLs in textareas, which are not links, and reporting on them in webmaster tools. Why do such a thing ?
  • Anonymous
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Post 3+ Months Ago

  • Elia1234
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  • Newbie
  • Elia1234
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Were the clickable codes in the textboxes actually not links or did they function as (broken) links?
Regarding Google recognizing text url-s as links, there is a debate whether it strippes out the <textarea> tags on purpose or not. What Google officials have stated is that it's "more like a bug in Google’s caching logic, and not an intentional use of text URLs as a ranking signal".

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