Indexing issues are pretty common and every webmaster has faced them at least a few times.
One of these annoying GSC indexing errors is the “Blocked due to other 4xx issue” which basically means Google got a 4xx error when they tried to crawl the page.
In this post, I’ll give you a quick rundown of the most common 4xx errors and how they could happen. And most importantly, I’ll discuss if and when you should try to fix this error and how to do it.
Before I get into more details about the issue, let me save you time and explain when you should try to fix this error, because most of the time this isn’t something you need to concern yourself with.
📢 Important Note:
‘Blocked due to other 4xx issue’ is an INDEXING ISSUE, so it’s showing up for a page that you don’t want to be indexed in Google, just ignore it.
You should ONLY try to fix it if it’s showing up for posts, categories, product pages, etc.. or other important pages you want to be indexed on Google.
For example, if you get the error for the admin URL like this (very common) – /wp-admin/admin-ajax.PHP, ignore it because we don’t want this indexed.
If you use ezoic, you’ll also see some weird URLs. Ignore them. Google’s actually doing you are favor by not indexing unwanted pages.
Now we got that out of the way, let’s get to the rest of the post. I’m going to assume its showing up for an important page from now on.
⚡Also Read: Google Sites SEO
Blocked due to other 4xx issue means Google didn’t index the page because the crawler couldn’t access the page because it returned a 4xx error.
There are a number of 4xx errors, but these are the most common ones:
- 404 (Not Found) – Requested URL does not exist.
- 401 (Unauthorized) & 403 (Forbidden) – These errors occur when the user is not authorized or the server denies access to the URL.
- 400 (Bad Request) – Server can’t understand or process the request
- 408 (Request Timeout) – Client takes too long to send the request.
For example, 404 means you either changed the URL of the page or deleted the page, either way this URL doesn’t exist.
401 and 403 happen when your content is behind some kind of paywall or password protected, or the firewall is set to block crawlers or maybe the htaccess file is causing it.
400 probably means the server is down or running maintenance.
⚡Also Read: Can Duplicate Yelp Listings Affect SEO
Your first step should be to use the Google search operator “site:your-page” to check if the page is really not indexed. Google can report false positives too.
If it does appear, it means it’s indexed and you can stop worrying about it. If it’s not, follow the next steps.
1 Try To Identify The Exact 4xx Issue
Visit the page on your browser and see if it’s loading. If it’s not, there you go – that’s the issue.
If it’s loading, check the server logs from your server admin panel or you can use a free tool like Screaming frog to diagnose the specific crawling 4xx issue.
You can also crawl as the google bot from your web browser and see the status codes right there.
2 Fixing The Issue
Now that you know the response code of the issue, you can attempt to fix it. Every case is going to be different and because I don’t know what’s yours, I’ll stick to general fixes.
Your .htaccess file usually has all the website and server request handling configuration settings.
If there are any recent issues with the file, it could be a reason why it’s not authorizing the crawler to access the page.
However, this is an easy fix and all you need to do is regenerate the .htaccess file.
There’s also a possibility that something was added by mistake into the robots.txt
This is also an easy fix and all you need to do is regenerate it. This is how yours should look like afterwards:
If you are using Cloudflare, there are a lot of security and firewall configurations on it. Make sure you didn’t accidentally mess with anything there that’s not allowing the crawler access.
If everything you do doesn’t seem to fix the issue, it’s probably time to email your hosting provider and ask them to take a look at it.
They are professionals with a ton of experience sorting issues like these and will fix it for you in no time.
3 Submit For Re-indexing
After all the fixes are done, make sure to re-submit the URL on GSC to speed up the indexing process.
Google will eventually do it on their own even if you don’t submit it, but submitting will make it a lot faster.
⚡ Also Read: How to use Keyword Surfer
Overall, ‘blocked due to other 4xx issue’ is an indexing issue that won’t cause any technical SEO issues as long as it’s not showing up for important pages of your website structure.
Just ignore these warnings. However, if there are a lot of these showing up, you may need to do something about it like 301 redirecting these URLs.