When Does Google Treat Your 503 Errors As 404s & Remove Them?

Sep 5, 2014 • 8:47 am | comments (4) by | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Google 503

We all know that Google tells us to serve a 503 error code when your server and web site is having temporary issues. Like a period of time where the server is getting way too much traffic for it to handle.

But what if the server has issues for really long periods of time? Well, it seems like Google eventually will remove the pages from their index.

John Mueller of Google responded to a complaint on Twitter defending why Google removed a site that was serving up 503 errors.

John wrote:

Your site was gone for over 2 months. We're patient, but users are going to blame us for leading them there.

John is referencing this post where he says the site went down in the summer for maintenance but it was down for more than just a few days.

How long is too long? John added:

If a site is down for a couple of weeks, I think most users would assume that it's gone for good. 503 or not....

Forum discussion at Twitter.

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