How I convinced my webhost to unblock Googlebot

In my last post I mentioned the difficulties I was having with my hosting provider and their inability to understand that they had blocked Googlebot from crawling my site. I of course tried the live chat route, then I did the ticket submit route followed by more live chat, another ticket and so on. This continued for 5 days before I finally managed to reach someone who actually felt like checking into it rather than giving me the “everything seems fine from our end” response that the other dozen or so people had given me. In this last email, the level 3 administrator stated that he had found Google IP’s that were accidentally blocked and that he had removed them from the firewall blacklist, literally 20 minutes later I had hits on my traffic log from Googlebot, so I replied with a few thank you’s and went on with my day.

For a refresher or for anyone who hasn’t read my first post about this, on April 16th I noticed my crawl stats on Google Webmaster tools had gone down to zero, there were errors saying my robots.txt file was unreachable or that it had timed out. I looked in a bit closer and noticed that every site I have on this same server had experienced the exact same thing at the exact same time. To confirm this I checked my server logs and guess what? Yep, Googlebot had not visited my sites since the 16th at around 3pm.

I forwarded all this information to support, argued over emails several times about who’s problem it was and why it had happened, as a lesson for all… If you know you are right, don’t give up, you may just have to fight your way through it to get the answer or support that you need. If anyone ever has this happen, don’t give up until it’s fixed.

3 thoughts on “How I convinced my webhost to unblock Googlebot”

  1. Imagine not having google crawl your site. What a disaster, I'd be throwing my toys out the cot.

    I do feel for other web hosting companies, because they need to protect against spam and hackers, etc, but simply blocking IP's is a little wreckless because very often IP's are dynamically assigned, so just because I'm hacking into your server on a certain IP today does not mean that this same IP address won't be assigned to Mother Teresa tomorrow!

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