During the submitted Question and Answer segment of a hangout, John Mueller answered a question about a URL format penalty.
The SEO professional asked: Is there anything like a URL format penalty? They are facing a weird problem where a particular URL doesn’t get crawled.
And this is the most-linked page on a website. And still not even one internal link is found for this URL.
It looks like Google is simply ignoring this kind of URL. However, if they slightly change the URL, such as adding an additional character or word, the URL gets crawled and indexed.
The desired URL format is linked within the website in rendered HTML and submitted in a sitemp as well, but it is not crawled or indexed.
John answered that it’s pretty much impossible to say without looking at some examples. This is also the kind of thing where he would say, ideally, go to the Help forums and post some of these sample URLs and get some input from other people there.
With the help forums, some product experts can also escalate issues if they find something that looks like something is broken in Google.
And sometimes things actually are broken in Google.
So, it’s a good idea to have that path to escalate things so Google can fix them if need be.
This happens at approximately the 25:29 mark in the video.