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Some Google search results of Stack Exchange sites show URLs with port 8080.

Curiously, other search engines I checked like Bing and Yandex aren't affected.

It looks like Google has indexed various Stack Exchange sites running on port 8080. Since URL canonicalization is a good practice according to this Google Support article, this looks like a SEO bug that can be fixed from Stack Exchange's end.

My questions are:

  1. Is it intentional that there is a mixture of the default HTTP port and port 8080 in Google search results of Stack Exchange?
  2. Why is port 8080 open to the public in the first place?
  3. Why doesn't stackoverflow.com:8080 (the only exception I caught) load?
  4. Should Stack Exchange URLs be canonicalized? (i.e. Should Stack Exchange sites on port 8080 removed from search results?)

Examples

Click on each example to be taken to the live search result.

There should be a screenshot here showing superuser.com:8080 in Google Search results.

There should be a screenshot here showing serverfault.com:8080 in Google Search results.

There should be a screenshot here showing *.stackexchange.com:8080 in Google Search results.

Another example can be found on Meta Super User.

  • Seems that anything except SO loads on the port 8080? – nicael Jul 6 '15 at 14:08
  • 1
    @nicael: Indeed. See my third question. – Deltik Jul 6 '15 at 14:10
  • Also, the port 80 redirects to the "portless" site. – nicael Jul 6 '15 at 14:18
  • 3
    @nicael: The port 80 "redirect" is just a normal behavior of your web browser to hide the port number. – Deltik Jul 6 '15 at 14:43
  • How is port 80 portless? @nicael – Patrick Hofman Jul 6 '15 at 14:58
  • @PatrickHofman 80 is not portless. 80 is for http protocol and it doesn't have to be there in the URL to specifically tell the browser. almost all browsers honour this. Same goes for port 443 with https protocol – Raja Anbazhagan Dec 18 '17 at 17:09
  • I know, but why are you telling me that? @raja – Patrick Hofman Dec 18 '17 at 17:33
  • I didnt see that the comments from this thread were from 2015. I'm a little embarrassed right now. I was trying to answer your question above. – Raja Anbazhagan Dec 18 '17 at 17:36
6

While we continue to press CloudFlare for a resolution on their side - I understand the matters of scale of where a change like this is placed as well. For now, we have gotten them to add a header letting us know the original port the client requested and are 301ing all traffic not on 80 or 443 over to http:// with port stripped.

That change is now live, you can give it a test:

> curl -I http://stackoverflow.com:8080
HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently
Date: Fri, 07 Aug 2015 10:39:19 GMT
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=utf-8
Content-Length: 0
Connection: keep-alive
Location: http://stackoverflow.com/

Google will drop the non-standard results as the crawler picks up the 301s on every hit.

  • I have a report here that seems a legit call over port 80 but they still get a 301. They have a fiddler log in the post but I don't see anything wrong with it. – rene Aug 9 '15 at 20:38
  • Can you make this status-completed? – programmer5000 Apr 29 '17 at 13:49
  • @programmer5000 done! – Nick Craver Apr 29 '17 at 13:52
7

That's due to our new CDN provider CloudFlare automagically hosting the site on those ports. We're working to address that with them.

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