Site Down Too Long? Your Google Rankings Will Suffer

Aug 16, 2011 • 10:00 am | comments (9) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

sitedownA Google Webmaster Help thread has one webmaster complaining his site is slowly dropping out of the Google index and wanted to know why.

JohnMu from Google explained that one of the reasons is because his site is simply often offline. John explained:

From what I can see here, it looks like we haven't been able to reach your site for two weeks. Temporary downtime is something we're certainly aware of, and which our algorithms can work around -- downtime for two weeks however is almost certainly something that will have some short-term, visible effects. Over time, as we're able to recrawl the pages that failed (keep in mind that this needs to be done on a page-by-page basis), this should settle back down again.

Yea, down here and there for a minute or two on occasion won't have a serious impact on your rankings. But down for two weeks at a time can be devastating.

We know Google will check back a few times if a site goes offline. There are also steps you can take when you are having planned down time.

Forum discussion at Google Webmaster Help.

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Nick Stamoulis

08/16/2011 02:20 pm

I've had to explain this to clients in the past, usually when they were redesigning a site. You can't let your old site go until the new one is completely up and running and ready to take it's place. Being silent online for that long is dangerous!


08/16/2011 03:05 pm

pretty obvious really, can't spider then wont rank!


08/16/2011 03:39 pm

From my experience Google is forgiving to older websites in this regard. I had  a client's website down for 2 months and it didn't affect the rankings whatsoever. Launched in 1996 with page rank 8 it weathered "under construction" phase without any loss.

Antonio Coleman

08/16/2011 03:44 pm

My thing is why will your site be down offline for? Do you care about your ranking. Might need to change hosting. "Black Seo Guy "Signing Off"

Dr. Pete

08/16/2011 05:37 pm

My anecdotal sense is that this got a lot more problematic after Caffeine. Once Google integrated crawling, indexation, and ranking more tightly (time-wise), site outages seemed to cause problems more often. In the old days, the crawlers probably wouldn't even see a 12-24 hour outage on the average site. The downside of a faster crawler is that it sees your flaws faster, too.

Andy Francos

08/17/2011 09:07 am

Isn't this an instance where a 503 'service unavailable' should be used?  However, downtime of two weeks is more of an issue that retaining rankings!


08/17/2011 11:31 am

I think people sometimes do not understand how important good hosting can be. Too much site downtime just looks like lack of stability in the eyes of Google. 

Marco Lee

03/15/2012 06:46 am

My last host has a limited bandwidth. My site was down for almost 10 days and I can see my links drop in the google searches. Now, I did transfer to another host and is currently waiting on what will happen. I hope I get back my rankings.

Gerzo Karim Noriega Moreno

02/19/2013 02:16 am

My website was from top1 to top15 thanks to DreamHost disable my website 24 hours, because this received a traffic peak one day !!!

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