Google bot will remove pages if the site is down for a few days

Google bot will remove pages if the site is down for a few days

Google will begin indexing your pages from search results if your website experiences more than two days of downtime.


This was said by John Mueller, a Google search lawyer during a business hour hangout at the Google Search Central SEO office that was taped on December 10th.

SEO Aakash Singh recalled the Livestream to ask Mueller how to reduce the impact on search rankings while his client’s website had been down for more than a week.

Unfortunately for Singh and his client, a website cannot be removed within a week without any negative impact on SEO and search rankings.

If website pages become inaccessible, Mueller says, it will only take a few days before you start indexing them.

Mueller went on to suggest an alternative way of dealing with planned downtime, but this does not guarantee that no damage will occur in the short term.

John Mueller from Google on the impact of SEO on website crashes

If a website has been down for more than a few days, whether planned or not, the negative effects on search rankings cannot be prevented.

Says Muller
I don’t think you can do that at that time, no matter what you set up.  For outages that may be a day or more, using score code 503 is a great way to tell us we need to check again.  But after a few days, we think it's a permanent result code, and we think you've just lost your pages, we'll remove them from the index.

Says Muller

And when the pages come back, we'll crawl them again and we'll try to index them again.  But at that time we will probably remove a lot of pages from the website from our index and there is a very good chance that they will come back in a similar way but this is not always guaranteed.

An important point here is that the effect of a prolonged downtime will last longer than an outage.

Your pages won’t return right away, and when that happens there will be drastic fluctuations in search rankings before things calm down.

So any time you have a longer break, which I think is more than a few days, I’m assuming you’re temporarily going to have a really strong fluctuation and it will take a while before coming back.

Not impossible because sometimes these things happen.  But if you have anything you can do to prevent this kind of loss, I will try to do it.

What should a website do during an extended loss?
One way to deal with this, Mueller says, is to set up a static version of the site where users can be directed while the main site is down.

However, if at all possible, the best thing you can do is to make sure the power outage lasts less than a day.

So you need to set up a static copy of the website somewhere and show that to users right now.

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