It looks like Google Webmaster Tools is having a few issues at the moment with listing a 404 error on /index.html from external links pointing at that URL, but when you look at the external links they all point to the root of your site e.g. http://www.domain.com. I’ve seen such an instance this morning on a client’s site.

This has been noticed by Fizzarotti who posted on YouMoz.

The fix implemented by Fizzarotti decided to 301 /index.html back to the root. This can be done by rule in the htaccess file if your an an apache server.

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{THE_REQUEST} ^[A-Z]{3,9}\ /index\.html
RewriteRule ^index\.html$ http://www.domain.com/ [R=301,L]

This screenshot from Google Webmaster Tools shows the 404 error for /index.php with 100 links pointing to the page. (click to see larger image).

index-404

A second screenshot lists the pages where that link to /index.html. Check over them all point to the root of the site and not /index.html (click to see larger image).

links404

In this example the rankings of the site haven’t been poor in recent weeks, Fizzarotti’s case on SEOmoz the site had dropped several rankings. I’m guessing there is another problem with Fizzarotti’s website and this ‘issue’ in Google Webmaster Tools is a reporting problem.

If you’ve seen the same problem add a comment below.

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