I have a domain that has "fallen off a cliff" for searches in Google. Searches that used to be in position 1-4 are now gone from page 1. In reviewing Google Webmaster Tools, I am seeing two problems: 1. The Sitemap is reporting two errors: General HTTP error: HTTP 403 error (Forbidden) URLs not accessible
However, the URL they provide as "no accessible" is accessible. I can click the link Google provides and it works fine.
There are 17,000 crawl errors of type 403. Again, most of these pages that have 403 are accessible in my browser (tried various browsers as well). Maximum errors are from Mar'2018.
I do confirm that most of the pages reported as 403 are accessible.
A search of just "site:thedomain.com" does confirm there are over 5,000 in the index. But most searches don't return the site. I believe the 403 issues are the cause of the fall in search rankings, but I can't seem to find any information online with ideas about how to address this. You can refer screen shot of errors in attached images..