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The redirects manager picks up a tonne of 404 errors.

Most of them are spammy, I would guess, attempts to find out what system I'm using and hack it. Thus, I don't really want to redirect those people to a working page they might try to hack.

But is there any other value for example to redirect them all to the homepage? It avoids a 404 which might be seen as better by Google for example, so helpful for SEO. Or would there be a negative, i.e. I'm giving them a page they might try to hack where a 404 page has hardly anything on it so harder to hack (no forms component for example).

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I would think that having a basic 404 Page with enough to look presentable to genuine visitors and as you say little chance to hack would be good for Google and genuine broken links and visitors.

I wouldn't think Google is putting too much value on individuals who would end up on the 404 page from a typing in a link, the spammy visitors, unless perhaps you are running GA.

For the really common and obviously hacking links with plenty of attempts, e.g. WP-admin, I would add something into Redirect, .htaccess or a firewall extension to either stop the majority with no response or to a page that takes 30-45 seconds to load.

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  • I'm not going to make a page that takes 30-45 seconds to load. That will probably put a load on my server and be awful in my GA stats. I think Google will see a problem with a website having a lot of 404 errors, which is my concern. But I'm guessing it's quite a wide problem, blocking the WP-admin type links is a sensible idea. And already part of Admin Tools.
    – Eoin
    Jan 19 at 22:31
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    The wait concept uses the html meta refresh, "This page will redirect in 5 seconds", stackoverflow.com/questions/3292038/… The usual issues is still there, separating the genuine visitor from the naughty ones you don't want. A 404 page with something to click on to take them to the Home page or a Search page can make it a better UX for the genuine visitor.
    – Irata
    Jan 20 at 9:26

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