Tuesday, July 22, 2008

"General HTTP error: Domain name not found" in Google Webmaster Tools and how to fix it

For some of my domains, Google Webmaster Tools kept returning me "General HTTP error: Domain name not found" error when I tried to add them:

General HTTP error - Domain name not found in Google Webmaster Tools
That was pretty sad, as most of the domains were fully functioning. After poking around, I have found an odd mistake in Google Webmaster Tools domain verification module. Google Webmaster Tools always tries to access the domain by it's www. form, so for http://cranked.me/ Google Webmaster Tools tries to access http://www.cranked.me/ and if it fails, you receive "General HTTP error: Domain name not found" error message.

The solution to this issue is to make sure www. - form of your website is accessible — you need a proper CNAME record in your domain settings or to make sure the server that hosts your page redirects www. prefix to your main site. For BlogSpot hosting, it could be done in Dashboard->Settings->Publishing, Advanced Settings module. Make sure the checkbox "Redirect www.<yoursite>.<yourdomain> to <yoursite>.<yourdomain>" is set:

redirect www form of your domain to your domain in BlogSpot
And supply the www. form of your website to the Webmasters Tools:

submitting www form of your site to google webmaster tools

That's it. Google Webmaster Tools will accept it, and you can proceed to your website management and optimization.
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Anonymous said...

Have you come across any other reasons? my site at bestgasmileagecarsauction.com doesn't work but my other two on exactly the same account on exactly the same server ( realizing.me and samuraiswordmaster.com ) added just fine. I have a correct www. server alias and I can get to the site through the browser using / and /www.

Any thoughts?

Scott said...

Now it's even weirder. I have a wordpress thing set up on /auctions that resolves just fine in the tools thing. The index.php for both it and the realizing.me are set up exactly the same to grab the header of the wordpress folder. One works - one doesn't. I hope that doesn't kill my SEO for the site.

Cranked said...

Google hosting glitches a bit lately (I've described it here: Google hosting glitches).

I also had some problems recently, however moving back to *.blogspot hosting and than back to your site worked for me quite well (check the post I've mentioned above to see how to do it).

It should be fine in the future and I hope it's just temporary problems (that can cost some people some money since some of my websites were down for couple of days before I've noticed it).

Wish you best of luck :)

Jaydeep said...

My blog is at zap-pedia.com.
In the Dashboard->Settings->Publishing, Advanced Settings module, I was having www.zap-pedia.com and yes the redirect checkbox was ticked.
Then also I get the error.
I also tried to change www.zap-pedia.com in the publishing tab to zap-peida.com but it says that other blog is hosted at that address.

Cranked said...

Google has changed naming convention for domains to www. form by default. I see your website accessible by www.zap-pedia.com but not by zap-pedia.com. You should go to your settings again and re-do the procedure to make sure your website is properly redirected.

Dave said...

Good info! Thanks!

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