Webmasters Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for pro webmasters. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I recently moved to a new host that blocks crawling to my uploads folders but (hopefully) allows the files in the folder to be crawled.

I now show many 403 errors for each folder in the uploads folder in my Webmaster Tools. For example, http://www.rewardcharts4kids.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/ shows a 403 error.

For example, I can access this file: http://www.rewardcharts4kids.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/lunch-box-notes.jpg but I cannot access the folder it is in.

My rankings went down after I moved to this host and I am wondering if:

  1. this could be the reason.
  2. is this how files/folders are supposed to be set up?
share|improve this question
I can't imagine that the folders would have any impact on your Google ranking. You might find this catch all question to be informative: webmasters.stackexchange.com/questions/16941/… – Stephen Ostermiller Aug 18 '13 at 10:45

Your website deliberately does not want anybody to browse directories - you have to navigate from one specific webpage to another using the hyperlinks in those webpages. This is true for most websites on the Internet - their web server has Allow directory browsing set OFF.

In nutshell, You don't have permission to access /wp-content/uploads/2013/07/ on this server.

share|improve this answer
If this is so common then why does Google send me messages twice a week about this? Makes me think that there is some problem here. – Kelly Aug 18 '13 at 16:42
Have you changed any directory privileges?? Have you checked the current permission levels? – Sachin Dhir Aug 18 '13 at 18:20
Google warns you when the directly is completely blocked, not just blocked from listing all files but disallowed... – JCL1178 Aug 18 '13 at 23:42
The crawl errors that are reported in webmaster tools should not be hurting your site as long as the errors aren't on pages you expect to be ranking: plus.google.com/+JohnMueller/posts/RMjFPCSs5fm – Stephen Ostermiller Oct 17 '13 at 11:55

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.