Is Google saying your website is temporarily unreachable?

It looks like Google is still rolling out its latest Penguin update. There were some reports over the weekend that it had finished, but we’re still seeing some site movement back and forth. Now, bouncing around may be the new norm, especially on competitive pages, but we think it’s a sign that the update isn’t finished rolling out yet.

We’ve found some DNS issues for a couple of clients on the Google Search Console.

For a refresher on DNS issues, go to “Crawl Errors” on your console and you’ll see Site Errors at the top. DNS issues will be right underneath. Now, it’s rare for us to find even one DNS issue, and we’ve found two in the past week. The sites have absolutely nothing in common with each other, so the mystery deepened.

The problem with this error is that Google is saying that the sites are temporarily unavailable. The Googlebot can’t crawl them, and their stats have dropped to zero.

Their rankings are dropping, and they’re beginning to lose business because of this. Now, we can go to the sites, and tools we use can find them as well, so it’s obvious that they’re not unreachable. I spoke with Google and they weren’t a lot of help, stating that errors aren’t always a bad thing. In this case, though, they are.

I found another site owner with the same problem, and she ended up fixing the error by moving her entire site to its root domain. That’s a hell of a lot of work for a simple fix. After some serious detective work, we’ve solved the problem for our clients. Google is now noticing some older configuration issues that they’d ignored for a long time, and it’s causing the issues.

So, if you’ve got that sort of problem happening with your site right now, let me know.

For more information, visit the StewArt Media website.

Jim Stewart is a leading expert in search engine optimisation. His business StewArt Media has worked with clients including Mars, M2 and the City of Melbourne.

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