Ignore That Last Google Webmaster Tools Notification: Googlebot CAN Access Your Site

Apr 26, 2013 • 8:26 am | comments (35) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Google Webmaster ToolsIn the past twenty-four hours, it seems as if Google sent out a message to thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands, of site owners, that there is a problem with their site.

Typically, you never ever want to ignore a webmaster tools notification but in this case, the messages were sent in error.

Google told these webmasters that "Googlebot can't access your site", that the site had connection failures and Google was unable to access your site.

Here is a sample message one of my clients received (although I received several):

Googlebot Can't Access Your Site

Google's Matt Cutts wrote in the thread that this seems like an error on Google's side. He said:

Hey everyone, please don't worry about this message at this point. Enough people are getting this message that I suspect it's an issue on our end.

I've got an email out to our webmaster tools team, and we'll figure out what's going on. Thanks.

John Mueller of Google is asking webmasters to post example URLs so they can fix the issue.

The thing is, I checked this morning and webmaster tool's console does not show the error on these sites still, so maybe it was a Google error.

Forum discussion at Google Webmaster Help.

Update: This was indeed a bug, John Mueller later on said:

From my information, this should be working again in the meantime. We will continue to monitor the status and I'll update here should anything change.

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04/26/2013 12:47 pm

yes i have this error elso in my GWT , thanks for notification barry


04/26/2013 12:48 pm

I've had 2 of these in the last 24 hours and was quite confused by it as the site had shown no issues and my users had not reported any. It's good to know it was a false report but I was not an SEO I might not get this news. It would be a good idea if Google put a notice into WMT or e-mailed affected users.


04/26/2013 01:11 pm

40% of site access attempts across 4 domains failed due to "connection timeout". Gits.

Soni Sharma

04/26/2013 01:20 pm

I have received this message 3 of my websites I though it was issue of DNS... Thanks just ignored now.


04/26/2013 01:53 pm

DO NOT IGNORE IT.... CHECK YOUR WEBSITE. They may be sent out in error, but just in case your's is the one that was sent out correctly, play it safe, do a fetch as Googlebot! :)

Barry Schwartz

04/26/2013 01:54 pm



04/26/2013 01:57 pm

Sorry, thought it was important :) I know, I know, the mega-cap-lock monster will come and eat me in my sleep now, I'm prepared for him :)


04/26/2013 03:11 pm

Thanks for the update, I was about to scream at my hosting company.


04/26/2013 03:23 pm

Hopefully this means the Penguin refresh is coming!

Barry Schwartz

04/26/2013 03:29 pm

To be safe, maybe ask them in the thread.


04/26/2013 03:41 pm

I got the message, thanks for the heads up.


04/26/2013 03:55 pm

Thanks for the heads up, Barry!

Jesse Walker

04/26/2013 04:08 pm

Yep I spent about 2 hours this morning freaking out and barking at my hosting company. Amazing how many person hours and how much stress a Google error can cause.


04/26/2013 08:04 pm

Thanks barry

Garnet Barcelo

04/26/2013 10:28 pm

Bless you for posting about this today, Barry! I had no bloody idea what I was supposed to do to be rid of the claimed problem with my supposedly affected WordPress website at HostGator.

Alan Smith

04/27/2013 05:36 am

i also got same message for my site, now i am feeling little bit relax


04/27/2013 05:58 am

GWT message mess continues...

michael gocia

04/27/2013 06:56 am

I think so we can ignore it and we need to check daily for better results . I had observed these messages for one of my website , but relaxed after ignoring it and checking daily status. Thanks for sharing such useful tip with us.

Hamouda Chayeb

04/27/2013 11:24 am

I've got it also but no problem


04/27/2013 09:39 pm

I also received the error, for the first time ever for my site. However, GWT does show connection timeout errors in the graph for the past couple days, but never before. No changes on the site though. How can we tell if this is real problem. Fetches all work fine, and the server logs do not show a problem occurred. Yet, GWT reports over 2000 connection timeout errors yesterday.

chaudhary amir

04/28/2013 06:42 pm

I got the same msg for my site few days ago

Jose Capelo

04/28/2013 08:50 pm

Thanks for this. I haven't got anything but just to be on the safe side it is good to know it. Thanks Barry, always on top of things.

Travis Waddoups

04/29/2013 03:51 pm

I got the message as well. I checked it out just to be safe, but it seems that I just had one of the error messages luckily.

Michael Price

04/30/2013 01:34 am

My site showed an error on the server connectivity and access on webmaster tools. No message from Google...just the crawl errors. Could be related? Who knows!

Michael Price

04/30/2013 01:38 am

Further comment... I also noticed a break in the crawl graph for a couple of days on one of my other sites. The graph had a break in crawl via webmaster tools....never seen this before.

Michael Price

04/30/2013 01:48 am

Final point and I'm out! Seems like only the newer sites are affected. My older sites are doing fine, but my newer ones are having issues with Webmaster tools such as crawl error reports of server connectivity and robot txt file can't be reached, pages going down from the the sitemap count although the index is fine, etc... My sense is the reporting is all messed up. I've moved over to Bing Webmaster tools and all seems to be fine.

NextWave Creative

04/30/2013 08:14 am

Yes, I have received the same message for http://nextwave-creative.com. However, I didn't receive that for my other client websites. I have checked the robot and I didn't find any error. Was this "human error" or "mistake"?

Crack Marketing

04/30/2013 08:50 am

Mega Caps Lock monster! You made my day! LOL


04/30/2013 09:17 am

Google-bot can access or cant access? The heading it says "Googlebot CAN Access Your Site"?


04/30/2013 09:33 am

What step will Google take in these kind of embraced situations? By Issue a statement apologising from everyone. They are trying to provide better search results by screwing our rankings.

Tips Clear Directory

04/30/2013 11:37 am

How it is possible, once we authorise the Google to access our website as a Google Webmaster, they do frequent visits and analysis our websites. If, we make any changes with the website (Permission related file) the bots from Google will inform us. I don't think this is a big matter. This is a normal issue with our permission related setup. Not from Google Webmaster tools or google bot related issues.

Kenyon Manu

05/01/2013 06:02 pm

I also got this message, it made sense because it seemed to in in fair proportion to the increased crawl rate. But now that I'm seeing this I feel a lot better.

James Davis

08/23/2013 09:27 am

Thanks for this post.... I received this message and have been racking my brain as my robots.txt all seemed fine to me... I guess I will do a "Fetch" just to double check :)


01/18/2014 04:48 pm

It may not seem to be a concern - but what effect is it having?? I work so hard trying to get recognized for 7 years now - I had worked my way up to a 2 page rank and had that stripped away without warning for 2 more years now I still try and no rank will avail. ... - I get errors like this and can only wonder? Ignore or be ignored... Will I ever be organic with a page rank again? Sadly googlebot can't access my site - error or no error.. urggggggggggggg tired of trying to beat the odds! I'd really like the errors to go away!!


01/19/2014 04:40 pm

thank you for informing us about this matter

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