Tip: Don't Ignore Google Webmaster Tools Notifications

Apr 10, 2013 • 8:51 am | comments (12) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Google Webmaster ToolsWant a tip from me? If you get a notification via Google Webmaster Tools about an increase in server errors, an outage, increase in not found errors, GoogleBot not being able to access your site or any of those types of errors - do not ignore them.

If you know the cause and you know it is temporary, you can ignore them. But if they happen over and over again but you are convinced that nothing is wrong with your server or web site - don't believe yourself.

If you keep getting these errors, something is wrong. Google is having issues accessing your web site and if Google continues to have issues accessing your web site, than Google will not want your web site in their index.

Google Webmaster Tools ErrorsThis happened to one webmaster who posted his story at WebmasterWorld.

He explained that he simply ignored all the warnings because his server was fine, at least he thought so and still believes so. But it resulted in his site being almost completely delisted from Google.

He wrote:

Middle of last year, Google suddenly started sending me warning mails via my Webmaster Tools account, telling me about "possible outages" and that "Googlebot can't access the site". I looked into those, and noticed that Google had found (and decided to spider) the default /links directory, even though it isn't actually linked anywhere on my site. Thinking that Google had no business crawling that directory in the first place, I simply ignored those messages.

Obviously, I shouldn't have: Over the course of 5 months and accompanied by a total of 30 warning messages, Google eventually started slamming my site, moving it down from page one to page 80 and beyond.

As a result, the number of my indexed pages dropped from "several thousand" to "several dozen".

If you get these errors (note the image above is photoshop'ed so I don't get those errors) do act on them. Bug your hosting company, ask people around the world to try accessing your site. Use Google's Fetch As Googlebot feature. Test it and test it and make sure the error notifications stop.

If you are unsure, post in Google's Webmaster Help forums.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

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04/10/2013 01:28 pm

I think ignoring these warning messages post panda/penquin is prob not a good idea.

Josh Zehtabchi

04/10/2013 02:05 pm

Also a good idea to have any notifications to be sent to you via email.

Saroj Nayak

04/10/2013 05:43 pm

I am facing this type error message for one of my client. Thanks for sharing your views. I fix these errors before Google will slap me. If i am not wrong, that webmaster was you and also that website is yours :) :)

Barry Schwartz

04/10/2013 05:43 pm

You are mistaken. It's not me. I photoshopped those.

Saroj Nayak

04/10/2013 05:45 pm

Oho, It's my mistake....


04/11/2013 11:09 am

OMG! I was really unaware that such warning can turn to such disaster to a website.

The Big K

04/11/2013 12:18 pm

Last year, I got a ton of 'Page Not Found' errors and I ended up spending all 3 months fixing them. Google continued to tell me that those errors won't affect your site's rankings in any way. In my case, it was only the Google Bot discovering those errors (because they were created by JavaScript related issue) and the end users never noticed them. Now, what I was experiencing was exactly against what Google had advised - Google said errors won't affect your site and I had graphs to show that the rise in error count was directly related to crawl rate and traffic going down.

Bonnie Pickartz

04/11/2013 06:07 pm

Okay...I'm getting these messages from Google. But it's only on the non-www page. Nothing on www. . And when I use Fetch as Google, it tests okay. Thoughts?

Chad Henkel

04/11/2013 07:19 pm

I'd be really interested in hearing if anyone else has seen this happen.


04/12/2013 05:25 pm

I am using wordpress site called www.chartscorner.com. All sudden I started getting soft 404 errors in webmaster. I don't know how to resolve it. Is there any way to get rid of it>


04/12/2013 05:26 pm

I am using wordpress site called www.chartscorner.com. All sudden I started getting soft 404 errors in webmaster. I don't know how to resolve it. Is there any way to get rid of it


03/26/2014 04:59 am

I have 5 websites in my webmaster account i got this error on two of my websites. How do i resolve this error

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