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Ever since I loaded this plugin and smushed my images - My #1 Search term that I have ranked on the front page of google for has dropped me to the 10 page (91st position) google said they are getting a 403 error code. I have since deleted the plugin but the problem still exists.

  • Adam Czajczyk

    Hello Jarl,

    I hope you're well today and thank you for your question!

    I took a liberty of re-assigning this thread to "WP Smush Pro" plugin as your question seems to be related to it.

    As for the issue.

    WP Smush Pro shouldn't affect your SEO ranking as it's only compressing images and this is even recommended by Google. The "403" error usually indicates issues related to the access to content on server level. It does translate as "HTTP Error 403 Forbidden" meaning that the access to the specific resources is 'blocked" by server rules. WP Smush shouldn't do this as it's not interacting with those rules at all and also it doesn't interact with your server settings (even if it means only changes to .htaccess file) at all. What it does is: it picks up an image, checks if it could be compressed and if so - it sends it to our server and then fetches it back optimized. Therefore from "Google point of view" there shouldn't be any change except possible increase of Page Insights score.

    That said, I'm wondering whether it is indeed WP Smush Pro or some other plugin or changes on your site. Are you using our other plugins? Have you made any changes to the site recently? Also, as Google informed you on 403 error, did it identify resources that are returning this error?

    I'm not saying that it's not WP Smush Pro for sure but I'd like to investigate and eventually rule out all other possible reasons for this.

    In addition to responding to above questions, would you mind if I took a closer look at your site via our WPMU DEV Dashboard plugin? Here's a guide on granting a support access:

    Best regards,

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