Your website domain is like a goldmine sparking up new business opportunities from all directions on the worldwide web. Visibility in search engines stands of critical importance in ensuring clear communication with your target audience. Nowadays over 70% of consumers utilize search engines such as Google when scouting for products or services. Where your brand falls in the SERPs dictates user engagement and potential lead generation opportunities.
Googlebot Can’t Access Your Site
One of the most important parts of proper SEO consists of providing a clear gateway between Googlebot and your website domain. Providing access to website pages enables visibility of content in SERPs and ensures targeted delivery of content in response to search queries generated by your target audience. Monitoring accessibility issues should be a priority. Examining website accessibility issues could be considered a daily routine.
Sadly to an outsider incoherent to SEO basics such notice probably means next to nothing. Sure it may not be of utmost importance in the beginning. Not until website traffic activity plummets and you’ve noticed a giant dive on the Analytics graph. Waiting longer than 24 hours to address such critical issue could potentially cripple overall website performance. Therefore checking daily website activity should be on the priority list.
Google Webmaster Tools provides webmasters and site owners with ability to maintain a healthy and easily accessible website in accordance with Google’s guidelines. Use of this handy tool will provide insight into Configuration, Health, and Optimization suggestions by Google to ensure proper visibility of your domain in SERPs.
Resolving Accessibility Issues in Webmaster Tools
Signing up for Google Webmaster Tools is only the first step to keeping up with erroneous website behaviors. Once you’ve setup a domain profile pay close attention to the Crawl Errors section under Health menu.
Under this area Google will provide detailed information regarding accessibility issues with your website domain. Some of the typical errors to expect include DNS, Server Connectivity, and Robots.txt. As a side note if anyone ever told you that SEO was non-technical chances are you’ve been lied to miserably. (Sorry to drop the hammer unexpectedly)
If your website is experiencing crawling errors some recommended steps for resolving issues include:
1. Ensure web service with your web host is properly functioning (On UNIX it’ll be HTTP and on Windows check with IIS)
2. Check firewall settings ensuring proper access of Googlebot to website domain. It’s not uncommon for firewalls to cause havoc with website crawlers
3. Verify all required scripts on site are properly functioning (Plugins, Hacks, Snippets, etc.)
4. Ensure Googlebot is allowed to crawl all designated pages on your site
5. Utilize Webmaster Tools to find a day with high error rate and then investigate thru website logs in attempt to identify specific errors
6. Website may be overloaded. Certain web hosting packages come with traffic limitations. If your domain has exceeded allowed quota chances are visitors and website crawlers will be unable to access any of the pages
7. Check redirects and 301s. At times certain redirects are capable of creating infinite loops. Review configuration for redirects and ensure none are causing redirection complications
There’s various other errors that could potentially create inaccessible content on your website domain. Ones listed above are some of the most common situations encountered when troubleshooting accessibility issues. After the errors have been addressed adequately and in a timely fashion it’s important to verify the changes. The Fetch as Google feature located under Webmaster Tools lets webmasters to manually check domain accessibility in the same way Googlebot would do so automatically.