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URLs not followed errors

This category lists URLs that we were unable to completely follow, along with some information as to why. In general, keep in the mind the following to ensure Google's spiders can follow links in your site:

  • Use a text browser such as Lynx to examine your site, since many search engines see your site much as Lynx would. If features such as Javascript, cookies, session IDs, frames, DHTML, or Flash keep you from seeing all of your site in a text browser, then search engine spiders may have trouble crawling your site.
  • If you use dynamic pages (for instance, the URL contains a ? character), be aware that not all search engine spiders crawl dynamic and static pages. It helps to keep the parameters short and the number of them few.
  • If you are permanently redirecting from one page to another, make sure you're returning the right HTTP status code (301 Moved Permanently).
  • Where possible, use absolute rather than relative links. (For instance, when linking to another page in your site, link to www.example.com/mypage.html rather than simply mypage.html).

Specific redirect errors you may see listed are:

Redirect error

Google was unable to completely follow the redirects from this page. Our guidelines suggest that you make every page on your site reachable from at least one static text link, so that we can access these pages easily. Below are some suggestions about using redirects:

  • Minimize the number of redirects needed to follow a link from one page to another.
  • Make sure your redirect timer is set for a relatively short period of time.
  • Avoid using meta refreshes in the <head> statement of your pages.
Redirect loop error

Google began following the redirect but was directed to the same URL more than once. Check to make sure that your redirects don't point to themselves.

Redirect URL too long

Google encountered a redirect URL that was longer than the suggested maximum in RFC 2616 (255 bytes). Make sure you aren't automatically appending information to the URL (such as a session ID) when you do a redirect. Also make sure that your site allows search bots to crawl your site without session IDs or arguments that track their path through the site.

Invalid redirect

Google followed a redirect from this page but was unable to access that URL. Make sure that your redirects point to valid pages.

Empty redirect

Google found a redirect on this page, but it didn't point to anything, so the Googlebot couldn't follow it. Make sure that all of your redirects are valid and not empty.

Cookie error

Google had trouble navigating the page due to cookie requirements. Search engines may have trouble crawling sites that use cookies for navigation. Use a text browser to navigate your site to see how a spider might crawl it.

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