What is a DNS Error in Google Search Console?

It is important to continuously monitor the status of your website to ensure that visitors and Google are able to access the information that they need. Google Search console (formerly Webmaster Tools), makes it easy for you to see if any errors are occurring within your website, and one of the most common URL errors that you may find at some point is a DNS error.

What is a DNS Error?

A DNS error indicates that Googlebot is unable to communicate with your website’s DNS server. This could be because the server is down or there is a problem with the DNS routing to your domain. This type of error can be displayed in several different ways, but they all mean essentially the same thing:

  • Server error: DNS
  • Server error: DNS Lookup
  • Server error: DNS Timeout

The good news is that even if your website has DNS errors, Googlebot is still able to access and crawl your website. The bad news is that the increased amount of time that it takes for the host server to receive, process, and load page objects can negatively impact user experience with your website.

How Do You Fix a DNS Error?

Since DNS errors do not impact how Google is able to access and crawl your website, addressing these issues should not be a major concern. However, if you want to stay on top of things with your website, this is a fairly easy matter to fix.

  1. Get in contact with your DNS provider. If your DNS errors are persistent or re-occurring, then it may be beneficial to check in with your DNS provider (which is typically the same company as your web hosting service). They may be able to offer a simple solution or guide you through the process of eliminating these errors. If they cannot, then it may be time to consider switching to a new provider.
  2. Set up your server to respond to non-existent hostnames with an error code. Certain websites need to have and/or benefit from having many different subdomains, such as http://name.mywebsite.com and http://name2.mywebsite.com However, if this is unnecessary for your website needs, then you do not need to have a wildcard DNS setup to allow for these types of requests. You do not want your content being duplicated across various hostnames when it is not necessary. Plus, it can also impact Googlebot’s ability to crawl your website.
  3. Verify that Google is able to crawl your website. The Fetch as Google tool allows you to make sure Google can crawl your website properly. If it can, then there is no rush to fix your DNS error. If it cannot, then you know that this issue needs to be addressed.