Friday, July 30, 2010

Godaddy's 302 redirect deception

Having heard of previous issues regarding Godaddy and redirect errors, this site was hosted with Godaddy to discover what the problem was and document it if needed.It did not take long for the issue to arise, Google failed to get my sitemap due to a rogue 302 redirect.
Godaddy 302 redirect error in Webmaster Tools for sitemap file Pages which should be returned as 200 status were being redirected via 302 without my knowledge, trying with Fetch as Googlebot, the same 302 redirect occured

and in a site:search I now have urls indexed which I did not create.
Crawl errors caused by Godaddy Hosting These redirect errors as shown in Webmaster Tools reporting are 302 redirects following a chain and goodness knows what else. Godaddy also redirects by Meta refresh.
The site indexing had been affected by by Godaddy hosting.

Response from Godaddy support I enquired with Goddaddy regarding this and their response was :
We have reviewed this issue with our Advanced Hosting Team. The issue does not appear to be due to any setting in our system. It may be related to a script or setting in your website or it could be caused by an error on Google's end. You will need to review your site configuration, scripts and contact Google for further assistance with this issue.
My repy stated :
There is nothing on my site that would suddenly begin returning random 302 status to googlebot. Feel free to take a look should you wish. And I very much doubt it to be an error on the part of googlebot, especially as I can recreate this myself without a google user agent.
And Godaddy's response was
After reviewing your account once again, we are unable to locate any errors with your Hosting service. Please note that we are unable to support third party application issues and we do not support the inner functionality of this program. If you are having difficulty using a third party product, we can help troubleshoot that process to the point that we find that the issue lies entirely within the configuration of that product. You may wish to consult with a community forum online or do a search on your favorite search engine as other users may have encountered a similar problem in the past and may offer helpful solutions. We recommend the following URLs when searching for useful help forums:
The urls for helpful search forums were actually Google's Webmaster forums. I searched Google's webmasters forum and responded with a list of urls of threads with the same issue:
In your latest response, you suggested that I looked at useful help forums for assistance with the server responding randomly with 302 status codes for 200 ok pages. I have found these threads from users having the same problem as myself with your hosting ....-
Godaddy's response to that was
Thank you for contacting Online Support and bringing this to our attention. The issue you have been experiencing with the redirects is being worked on by our technicians. Service will return to normal as soon as possible. Unfortunately, we are unable to give a specific time frame for this resolution. We appreciate your patience and understanding in this matter and we apologize for any inconvenience.
I requested that my site be transferred to a server which did not have these critical hosting issues. The response to my request to move was
Thank you for contacting Online Support. Unfortunately we cannot migrate a customer's website between servers at their request. As we have stated, this issue is being worked on and will be resolved as soon as possible. We do appreciate your patience and understanding in this matter. Please let us know if you have any further questions, comments, or concerns by replying to this email. Our service departments and telephone lines are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to accommodate your needs anytime.
Summary of Godaddy's response to the 302 redirect problem.
  • Issue raised. Godaddy - Issue denied with the suggestion that it was a site config or Google error. This suggestion refuted.
  • Godaddy - Issue denied again and links sent to 'helpful forums' Threads made on the very same forum from other users with the same problem return to them.
  • Godaddy - There is an issue, there is no timeframe for resolution. Request to move to hosting without issues.
  • Godaddy- No It would be a huge co incidence if everyone who has ever experienced the rogue 302 redirects from Godaddy were on the same server as this, and so to imagine that this is an isolated incident which will be resolved by their technicians is fanciful.
I would submit that these 302 redirects are part of their general overall server setup and an aspect that Godaddy does not want to readily admit, and indeed denies in an outrageous fashion. (Aside from the general indexing issues, some users may act on the misinformation given and hire third parties to review their sites and scripts for security breeches that do not exist.) When the option to deny this is not longer there, then the response is essentially 'live with it and you can't move server' Moving server would be pointless of course as/if all their servers are affected by this. I knew that and suspect they did too.

Comments moved over from canig.com

Taylor says: April 21, 2011 at 9:55 pm
I was having the same issue with my site. I sent a blunt issue to support saying that this is a known GoDaddy issue and I was not interested in being told my problem was the code. They forwarded my email to the Advanced Technical Support Team and I received this response: Recently the hosting account for yardgopher.com was under Network Protection and was encountering intermittent FTP and HTTP issues. For security reasons there is no additional information that we can provide for why the hosting account was under Network Protection. We resolved the issue as quickly as possible and apologize for any inconvenience. The 302 redirect issue you were experiencing should be resolved as well. This looks like it fixed the problem; everything is working great so far. If anyone has this problem, they may want to recommend this as a possible solution.
Brandon says: April 6, 2011 at 1:41 am
On my third call to GoDaddy I think I finally got this exact problem fixed. No actual details from tier one, but the report conveyed from tier two was that it was “security setting” on the server.
Matthew Blackford says: April 2, 2011 at 1:07 pm
What was your final resolution to this problem? Did you end up getting them to fix your hosting, or did you move to a different company? I’m also in this very frustrating boat…
squibble says: April 2, 2011 at 9:19 pm
You cannot get them to fix it as it is a long standing feature of theirs. I believe that some users have amended their hosting package to resolve this but I do not know the exact details. I think it relates to getting a dedicated IP address. Personally, I would move hosting as it is important to have a host that you can trust and I dont feel Godaddy are a trustworthy host as they are happy to mislead users.
Allan Ng says: March 24, 2011 at 9:42 pm
We are currently experiencing the exact same issue where Google is returning crawl errors and redirect errors on our sitemaps. Now our site got de-indexed by Google. Anyone have this problem resolve beside switching to another hosting company? How do I get my site back on Google? (Just wait?) Any help will be greatly appreciated!
squibble says: March 24, 2011 at 10:15 pm
I would say that you need to move hosting, but much of that comes also because Godaddy does not admit anything and tries to make the site owners think it is their scripts at fault. I think for hosting you need a more trustworthy partner. With that in mind, some has said that switching to a different IP or getting a dedicated IP has helped alot. Maybe that is something which you could look into ?
Irfanullah Jan says: December 10, 2010 at 11:53 am
Thanks for the post. I have exactly the same problem. My sitemap is not accepted at google webmaster. My HTTP headers are 302 instead of 200 & 301. I have just contacted go-daddy
Chris says: November 27, 2010 at 4:28 pm
Woot. I got them to refund my remaining months on my account (11). I can post what I wrote them last if anyone wants to use it themselves. My advice is to move hosts, and don’t give up on getting a refund from Godaddy. Apparently they are a great domain service, but hopeless hosting. Chris
squibble says: November 27, 2010 at 11:27 pm
@Chris – nice to hear that you got a refund from them, and I agree with you – moving sites and just forgetting about it does not seem enough as there will be so many more out there who probably dont even realise that their indexing is being shafted by Godaddy.
Cracker says: April 4, 2011 at 12:08 pm
@Chris: I am facing the same problem and am planning to switch to another host. But would like to get a refund from Godaddy. Can you please send me the matter you sent them for getting the refund at crackercracks@yahoo.com?
Chris says: November 27, 2010 at 10:39 am
Have moved hosts. Using stablehost and so far everything seems good. But I’m still really wound up about this, even though in reality it is only over a few quid. I’m just very reluctant to let this giant of webhosting triumph over the little people by blatently sidestepping an important issue. No time frame, no explaination. Nothing. 24 hours after moving to Stablehost, google had crawled my site properly, found my robots files and uncached a load of pages I didn’t want showing up – more importanly, indexed pages that weren’t showing up. It’s just lucky I wasn’t in a hurry to take my site live. I gather it’s a USA based company… I think the Federal Trade commission deal with consumer rights similarly to the UK’s Consumer Direct. I might try both and see what happens. Will come back and post either way.
Chris says: November 19, 2010 at 12:49 pm
This is a f* outrage. I’m having the same problem, and the same outright denial despite sending screen prints of 302>302>200 occurring time and time again. Any ideas what we can do about this? We must have some rights as customers… it’s a faulty product after all.
squibble says: November 20, 2010 at 4:43 pm
There is no solution, once you prove it to Godaddy beyond doubt they essentially say ‘ Tough’ . I would move hosts.
Manjeet says: November 12, 2010 at 3:19 pm
Facing the same problem. I have opted for AP Grid Linux hosting. Is there any way of resolving the same?
squibble says: November 13, 2010 at 1:52 pm
I dont think there is a way of solving this without moving from Godaddy. Unless you have moved servers internally and got reassurance from them that the one you are now on does not have this 302 feature.

14 comments:

  1. Hello,

    I recently booked a domain + Shared Linux Hosting unknowing such redirect problems (302->302->200) with GoDaddy.

    I am facing similar problem but looking at different forums (Google/Godaddy/Joomla etc), I am less hopeful of getting any positive solution from them...

    I have few questions with some experts out here:

    1. Is there any workaround if I plan to stick with Godaddy Hosting? I like control panel of Godaddy as I can install applications like Joomla with single click and many other features. Not sure of any other hosting provider like this...

    2. If there is no work around for such redirect problem (302-302-200), which hosting server is better than GoDaddy which do not have this redirect problem like this and that also supports mod rewrite etc...(obviously cheaper or similar price than godaddy).

    3. I have already paid for 1 year Godaddy hosting in advance. If Godaddy cannot fix redirect problem, how can I ask them for a refund? Will they refund it? I cannot call them on phone as I am out of US so can only communicate with them on email.

    4. My friend is also using domain + Same linux hosting from godaddy since past few years but he has not received such redirect problem, why? Why its only on few servers even though the hosting plan we both are using is same.

    Plz lemme know few other cheap hosting servers that have no such problems.... my site is dynamic (using Joomla CMS) in nature with SEF URLs.

    http://www.apps0.com

    All URLs on my site has gone down in SERP rank due to 302 redirects and that is also indicated by Google Webmaster. Verified the problem exists using HTTP viewer.

    Keeping my fingers crossed and waiting for response from GoDaddy...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Manshoo - I am not aware of any workaround and also dont know any other host that has this feature. A similar host suggested by others is hostgator and they are in the same range of price.

    You should be able to get a refund from Godaddy, others have done so without much trouble. They are not providing a proper service when they respond with 302 chains for your 200 okay content. And I could not say why your friend does not seem to have the same problem.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks squibble,
    I had got the same problem 2 days before, on december 1.

    I checked the issue today, dec, 03, and after reading your blog, i immediately moved my site to hostgator. Now all the 302 errors are gone away. and sitemaps, robots.txt and header 302 redirects are solved. Thanks for your great blog.

    But my site ranking is very badly affected. I was getting about 500 visits from google before december 1 but now i am getting only 10-20 visits from google.

    Do you think that my ranking will be restored again as my 302 errors problem is now solved? If yes then how long will it take? What else should i do to restore my rankings. Should i file a reconsideration request?

    ReplyDelete
  4. That is great news to hear you quickly moved from godaddy, I think it is always the best solution.

    You dont need to file a reconsideration request as the problem is technical and not a spam penalty. You can try to fetch your pages now with fetch as googlebot and resubmit for indexing and that should speed things up for you.

    Good luck.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks squibble,

    All my pages that were indexed before are still indexed. Only ranking very lower. For example, for the keywords for which my site was on number 1, now are on page 4-6.

    In this case fetchbot-->Resubmit for index will be helpful?

    Alia

    ReplyDelete
  6. I would resumbit for indexing and wait and see what happens. If you have had access issues (as you have) then it can/will result in poorer performance.

    Whether that is the true cause of your problems.. time will tell. Once you have been recrawled a few times you will see clearer.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks again squibble,

    I have resubmitted my main category pages by fetchbot and submit for indexing all linked pages.

    I will tell you if i can see any improvement, or else, and will ask you for more if needed.

    Thanks again.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Just checked the indexed pages in webmaster tools. the indexed URLs were 1424 and now after moving to new hosting and resubmitting pages, the total indexed pages are 1454 (30 more pages added in index). Total pages submitted are 1601.

    It means google bot is now indexing new pages. But still my ranking is down and have not recovered as it was before december, 01.

    Alia

    ReplyDelete
  9. I would give it a little bit longer, maybe a week or so before you start to look for other reasons.

    ReplyDelete
  10. OK, I will wait for a week and will keep on adding fresh content on site. I will keep you updated.

    Thanks for your time.

    Alia

    ReplyDelete
  11. Godaddy is starting to really tick me off. For over one month I have been having the same 302 redirect issues. Contacted custoer support and got almost identical feedback. Called them twice and sent a bunch of files to them. They just recently sent me an email back that told me to be patient. I can't submit sitemap to search engines and google is saying several pages are 404, but I can copy and paste and go there after redirect. I have contact several other hosting providers and all of them refuse to answer the very specific question...."do you have the same 302 redirect policy as godaddy?" So far not very satisfied with any hosting company that I'm looking at moving too. When I have a specific question and a company has customer service reps, why is it that instead of giving me the answer they all just give you links to faqs, knowledgebases, forums, etc. I can read and obviously I couldn't find the answer in those 10,000 pages that is why I asked. The first web hosting company to offer real traditional customer service should do very well. Who Do You Use? Who is reliable? Who is honest? If godaddy will not fix it just say, hey buddy, we are not gonna fix it.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Eric - I dont hear of any similar redirect problems with hostgator and think they are in the same price ranges, so I would give them a try.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thanks for the follow up. I emailed the top 5 web hosting companies and explained the situation with go daddy and the 302 redirects. None of them would make a commitment to not use 302 redirects. I ended up with siteground for 10 bucks for the year they had a Christmas special. Here is my short link for siteground and the deal is good for a little while longer. www.rqc.me/besthosting . Left my domains registered with go daddy. I linked this page to one of my pages at my blog. http://rapidqrcodes.com/blog/?p=265 Hope we get the word out about go daddy and their 302 redirect scams.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I was told they are aware of the issue, but they do not have a timeframe it will be fixed in. It could be a couple of days. We will see if they are just giving me the run around. :)

    ReplyDelete