For a site http://imageocd.com that I just set up I initially spelled the category "automobiles" as "autimobiles"... I know it's rediculous. I then set up over 10,000 pages behind that category e.g. http://imageocd.com/automobiles/hillman-minx-cabrio-pictures-and-wallpapers.

So, I set up over 10,000 301 url redirects to change the spelling on automobiles. I just checked my Google Webmasters report and got an error saying:

http://www.imageocd.com/: Googlebot can't access your siteSep 7, 2012
Over the last 24 hours, Googlebot encountered 2 errors while attempting to retrieve DNS information for your site. The overall error rate for DNS queries for your site is 66.7%.

Could the overabundance of 301 redirects be causing this? I host 13 sites on this dedicated server and all sites are running fine. I also contacted GoDaddy and they said the server is running fine. Any ideas on what might be going on?

Also, I have "canonical" set up for every URL. Could this be part of the error? Thanks.

  • In .htaccess? 10K individually specified redirects?! Or a single regular expression that equates to over 10K redirects? Although I don't see how this can affect DNS?
    – MrWhite
    Sep 8, 2012 at 23:31
  • 10K php 301 redirects
    – Graham
    Sep 9, 2012 at 3:03
  • Have you tried temporarily removing the redirects to see what happens? The site's already inaccessible, so it's not like you've got much to lose. (For what it's worth, the htaccess becomes a factor after your DNS has already resolved, so I doubt these are connected.) Besides that, 10k individual redirects for this seems ridiculous and may impact loading times if done poorly. It's trivial to set up a regex that changes autimobiles/*** to automobiles/***. Is there some other factor you haven't brought up that required doing it these individually?
    – Su'
    Sep 9, 2012 at 9:54
  • @Su' "The site's already inaccessible" - It appears to be accessible for me currently, so maybe there is an intermittent DNS problem? (Although the redirect doesn't appear to be active at the moment, since http://imageocd.com/autimobiles/ is available and is not redirecting?)
    – MrWhite
    Sep 9, 2012 at 11:01
  • I removed the redirects and canonical URL's. Those are the only 2 factors that are different from the other 12 sites on the server. So, I'll wait and see how it responds over the next 3 days.
    – Graham
    Sep 9, 2012 at 16:29

3 Answers 3


DNS errors occur before the server is even hit, so redirects wouldn't affect this. I checked your site on a DNS checker here and didn't see any problems. It was probably just a temporary issue.

There are no problems with the number of redirects, in terms of how many pages redirect to a second page. The only problem occur when you chain redirects, e.g. Page A > B > C > D - Google will usually give up after 4 or 5. But you are not doing this so no need to worry. See this webmaster help video for more information.


There wouldn't be a problem with any number of 301s technically, except for network noise and lag it creates, etc. - plus extra load on the machine.

Googlebot only goes so far before quitting though and just as it would only scrape so far deep into a site, I don't think it would traverse that many 301s. Very likely it would think at a certain point that it was an infinite redirect and quit.

If it's not an option to fix the typo, it would be a better solution to create a symbolic link in the filesystem that sends the traffic over to the other directory. Not sure what os you're running on your server. On linux it's: ln -s target linkname

  • Your second paragraph only applies to chained redirects, which is not happening in this case. Oct 26, 2012 at 9:35
  • If you really want to get technical about it, I'm sure if you had ENOUGH redirects it would timeout before it would arrive. Thus giving a practical limit if not theoretical.
    – Peter
    Oct 26, 2012 at 19:27

You could maybe consider using phpmyadmin to do a SQL update to the misspelled category in your db? Then no redirect necessary...

  • that means an extra layer of work for the server/site. It's best to keep it as simple as possible.
    – PatomaS
    Oct 28, 2012 at 3:24

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