Did Google Adjust For GoDaddy Downtime?

Sep 11, 2012 • 8:45 am | comments (9) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

GoDaddy LogoI am pretty sure you all heard about GoDaddy going offline yesterday afternoon for about four hours. In short, a hacker decided he wanted to teach GoDaddy a lesson and he took down their DNS.

It impacted millions of web sites that either host with GoDaddy or use GoDaddy as their domain name server (DNS).

But as an SEO, how did you handle the downtime? Honestly, the outage was so wide spread, I bet you didn't have to do anything.

Meaning, millions of sites were not loading and I am sure it spiked an alert at Google. Google probably took that into account when crawling web sites. So I doubt any site was negatively impacted in the search results due to the outage.

I am sure you lost four hours worth of traffic but did you see a drop in rankings?

I doubt that.

It would be interesting to see an official post from Google on how they handle situations like this. I suspect they may have decided to slow the crawlers a bit, somewhat like how they handled the black outs for SOPA.

John Mueller at Google responded to me on Google+ on how Google likely handled it saying:

With SOPA one problem was that sites put up different content and served it with a "200 OK", so it looked like they wanted to publish (and have found) that content. In this case, assuming it was just the DNS that wouldn't resolve, we would treat it similar to how we treat other temporary crawling issues, and just retry at some later point.

Forum discussion at Google Webmaster Help and WebmasterWorld.

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09/11/2012 02:08 pm

No drop in rankings but four hours of no traffic on our main sites was a major bummer.


09/11/2012 03:32 pm

Yeah the hacker didn't attack GoDaddy, he attacked the internet as a whole. No bueno.

Chris Sansone

09/12/2012 11:30 am

One of my ecommerce sites has a number of queries where it dropped from page 1 to nowhere in the first 20 pages, while other pages are normal. A few competitors vanished also, only for certain queries.


09/12/2012 01:54 pm

Yeah so nice of the gutless ^&#*#*#& at Anonymous to "teach GoDaddy a lesson" by ruining a day's worth of business for untold 1000's of small business owners. Yeah - that'll teach these guys who are trying to put food in their kids' mouths.


09/12/2012 02:29 pm

GoDaddy had a security hole... who's fault is that.


09/13/2012 12:24 am

Well I and everyone else also have vulnerabilities to fire, rapidly moving projectiles, knives etc. If someone were to stab me, would it be my fault for having that security hole or the fault of the person for stabbing me?


09/14/2012 11:15 am

Was this a hacker? I thought Go Daddy said it was their own fault. Not sure if that makes it better or worse to be honest. They may just be denying the hack, their explanation was a bit lame (engineer made a mistake etc). To be honest I think if a skilled and determined hacker decided to attack any provider they could take it offline for significant amount of time. At the end of the day, if there is a security flaw it will, at some point, be exploited. They owe it to their customers to do better testing and maintain better security. That will at least deter all but the most determined of attempts.


09/26/2012 04:54 pm

I have a one-month old site that I think Google DELISTED from it’s index because of the GoDaddy Outage. About a month ago, I set up www.PaddleBoardPlans, and was happy to find it on the first or second page of Google returns for “Paddle Board Plans” (no quotes in search term). My site went down for a few hours with other sites on GoDaddy. On my Google Webmaster Dashboard, I did notice that Google could not crawl my site www.PaddleBoardPlans.com but I did nothing thinking that Google would just try to recrawl. It’s now September 25, two weeks, and my site does not show up at all on either a search for “Paddle Board Plans” or even the exact “PaddleBoardPlans.com” On about September 20, I went back to my Google Webmaster Dashboard and manually requested Google, to fetch my site, which Google did, but who knows how long it will be before Google reindexes my sites. Who knows how many other sites Google has taken its time to reindex. And to the messed up kid? hackers, I hope you are not mentally ill, but grow up and stay in school


09/26/2012 04:58 pm

My site also vanished from Google, but not it's been gone for 14 days - see my above post. I don't Google handled it well.

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