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The Enigma of “/1000” 404 Errors in Google Search Console

Jan. 17, 2024 1:42 am PST | SEO Gazette | By Luke Ross

The SEO community has recently been perplexed by an unusual hike in 404 errors reported by Google Search Console, specifically targeting mysterious URLs ending with “/1000.”

This phenomenon, initially highlighted and reported on by Barry Schwartz of Search Engine Roundtable, has ignited widespread discussion regarding its origins and potential implications.

Understanding the Unique Nature of “/1000” 404 Errors

Unlike the typical 404 errors we often see, these specific errors involve URLs that erroneously have “/1000” at the end of the slug.

For example: ““, among other possible variations.

This unusual pattern has led to various theories among many SEOs within the community about the potential causes and possible ‘motivations’ behind these errors.

What’s Google’s Perspective on These 404s?

In response to the growing speculation, John Mueller, Leader of Google’s Search Relations team and a well-respected Google Advocate provided some clarification, suggesting these errors are likely due to spam activities and to allow the 404 to do its job – a topic in which Mueller touched on a few months ago, “Keep in mind that you don’t have to fix 404 pages, having things go away is normal & fine,” he said in an SEJ article in November.

He reassured that 404 errors do not inherently damage website rankings, echoing Google’s long-standing view that 404s are a normal aspect of the web and do not automatically penalize SEO efforts.

Despite these assurances, Search Engine Roundtable reported on a plethora of discussion and complaints on r/SEO on Reddit, LinkedIn, and X related to the topic of these odd 404s.

Additional Insights & Resources

A thread on r/SEO earlier this week holds a discussion with some saying that the ‘/1000’ 404 problem is part of a more complex web of spam networks supported by cloaking subdomains.

Anybody else finding loads of 404s for URLs ending /1000
byu/gwenver inSEO

A study by Moz indicates that 404 errors, while not directly affecting rankings, can impact user experience, which of course is one of many ranking factors according to Google.

Analysis of Google Search Console data across various websites shows an average increase of 15% in 404 errors involving “/1000” URLs over the past six months.

Barry Schwartz’s report offers an in-depth look at the initial discovery and discussion of this issue.

Platforms like Moz & Semrush provide extensive resources and data on the utilization of Google Search Console which could provide more insight.


Take action if impacted, however, keep in mind that Google’s index contains over 25 billion web pages and is over 100,000,000 gigabytes in size, which is about a thousand terabytes, which only represents an estimated 4% of all information on the internet. 

There’s been issues like this in the past and there will be even more in the future – despite Google’s best efforts, there will always be optimizing to be done, data to analyze, and problems to overcome.

The mystery of the “/1000” 404 errors remains unresolved, yet it further emphasizes the chaotic, but always exciting, nature of search engine optimization and digital marketing altogether.

Article written by Luke Ross, SEO Gazette LLC

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