1

I repeatedly get an warning/error message from Google as follows:

Googlebot can't access your site

I have checked, edited, removed, replaced the robots.txt file on the site all to no avail.

Here is the content of the file:

User-agent: *
Allow: /

Am I doing something wrong here? What is the solution to make that bot happy?

  • What kind of website/webserver you got ? maybe you have a bad redirect somewhere, can you access to the robots.txt directly from the url via a browser? – Froggiz Nov 17 '15 at 10:13
  • Input your site url into redbot.org and it will tell you what headers it gets from your server. – Anthony Hatzopoulos Nov 17 '15 at 15:38
4

Its hard to say what the possible reason is but heres a drill down what can cause this issue:

  • Robots.txt blocking access to GoogleBot.
  • Use of noindex and nofollow can cause issues.
  • Server is caching an old version of robots.txt check your .htaccess for TXT MIME and expire entries.
  • DNS propagation is not fully complete, this process normally takes anywhere between 1-72 hours. Some DNS propagation checkers can help, but ultimately... waiting is the solution to this issue.
  • 301 Redirect loop, sometimes rules in the .htaccess file can cause redirect loops, while users may be able to use the site, Google may reject it. Use CURL on your site, you should see a HTTP/1.1 200 OK in the header response.
  • Routing Errors, sometimes DNS issues occur on networks , while some people may not be able to access your site, some may... this apply to Google as well. This normally resolves itself.

Other issues include firewalls or misconfiguration servers. 99% of the time is due to DNS issues which will resolve assuming that you have setup the DNS on your domain correctly.

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3

I also want to add that you check your server configuration to make sure you're not giving special treatment to Google's block of IP addresses. Make sure your server firewall isn't configured to block Google's IP addresses.

Also, make sure your .htaccess as well as other configuration files do not contain entries that direct the system to give a bad response to Google's IP addresses.

Another possibility is that your server configuration is set so that only certain browsers or devices are allowed access to the website and Google isn't one of them.

When you make changes to the server configuration, use the "fetch as google" tool in Google webmaster tools to make sure Google can access your content. Also, run it through other Google tools such as page-speed insights.

Another thing that can help is for you to check all access logs, especially right after using the "fetch as google" tool to see what IP address and user agent string google uses so that you can redirect the correct bot to the actual content instead of to an error page.

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