What triggers this issue?

This issue reports all internal page URLs of a website returning the 500 (Internal Server Error) HTTP response code.

Why is it important?

This error indicates a potential problem with your web server. The 500 HTTP status code indicates that the website server cannot fulfill the request and is not able to give a more specific message on what the exact problem is.

URLs returning the 500 HTTP status code can be accessed neither by your website visitors not by the search engines crawlers. Crawlers will be forced to abandon the request while people will most likely leave your website.

This provides poor user experience for visitors who cannot access content and might have a negative effect on your website’s crawlability by the search engine crawlers.

How to fix it?

Review the list of URLs that return 500 HTTP status code.

Try to reproduce the server error reported by Site Audit for these URLs in your browser. You should also check the error logs for your server.

If this is an ongoing problem and a lot of internal pages return the 500 or other 5xx codes, you need to check with your hosting provider or with your web developers. Your server may be overloaded or misconfigured.

Often 500 errors are caused by corrupted .htaccess file or PHP memory limit.

You should also note that this can be a temporary issue, e.g., when the crawl took place during some maintenance on your website's server.

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