UNSOLVED: 403 errors in google console


In the last week my site has been getting 403 errors in google console, with my site visits falling off a cliff. I queried this with my host (bluehost) and they pointed me to Cloudflare as the culprit. I’ve been with Cloudflare for a couple of months and haven’t altered any Cloudflare settings since the initial set up. The only thing somewhat related to Cloudflare that I’ve done recently is set up integration with ezoic (through ezoic website). I’ve also since read through the 403 error posts on the Cloudflare community forum and the most relevant ones appear not to have been adequately solved either, i.e.:

The only fix I see is to move the name server back to my host, however that is suboptimal for me (slower site) and Cloudflare (lose a customer). Can someone please help with fix that enables me to stay on Cloudflare please?

Hi ApplySlayer,

Thank you for your reply and your quick fix suggestions. I don’t think some of the suggestions are relevant as I can see all my pages, the issue is just that google bots cannot (so 2. and 6. are out). Nevertheless I will review the others, see how I go and respond again.

Hi JJbucketlisttravelle

Did you get this sorted out?

I just had the same issue fixed.

My issue was exactly the same as yours and my site is also hosted at Bluehost.

The weird thing is that I have 2 sites hosted on Bluehost with the exact same settings - it seemed - but one worked fine and the other returned 403 in Google Search Console just like yours.

So I compared all settings to see if anything was different.

If the cause of your is you is the same as mine you can fix it like this:

Find your site in Ezoic.

Go to “Settings” and scroll down to DNS settings.

I had an A-record set to the wrong IP-Address.

Check all your A-records (except for name:localhost) to see if any of them are not the IP-address of your host.

In my case I just had to change the A-record with name “@” to {redacted}
and shortly after the change I did a livetest in Search Console and everything is now perfectly fine :slight_smile:

Let me know if this works for you.

Hi baek_p,

Thanks for your reply. Long story short, sort of! After some further fiddling I had also guessed out that the error was due to Ezoic. So I then set out to unravel my ezoic Cloudflare integration to find a root cause and blew up my website in the process, getting ‘variant also negotiates’ messages! I ended up removing my site from Cloudflare (as ezoic still had DNS records on my Cloudflare settings) and then re-added it. No more 403 errors, however I’m yet to reconnect to Ezoic. My next step after Ezoic reintegration was going to be to whitelist ezoic IPs in wordfence, which is further advice that I had read.

I’ll certainly check out your fix as well, thanks again!

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