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Server outage followed by drop in rankings



6:14 am on Nov 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

Because of a massive data center outage at my hosting provider yesterday my server was down for 3 hours. I used to have very good and steady positions in the serps for several months in a row. Less than 10 hours after this outage however my positions on Google changed. Between 3 and 5 places down for my most important keywords.

Is it possible that Google reacts this fast on websites that are down or is it a coincidence? Did anyone ever experience the same?


6:46 am on Nov 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month

It's possible -- I would personally "don't worry about it" for a week or two -- I had a domain last year set to auto-renew that didn't get renewed due to cc info changes and I didn't realize it until the domain was way into the redemption period, meaning the site "completely disappeared" and did not show for anything it did normally.

Long-story-short, it took less than 2 weeks after renewing it for the rankings to be restored. So, based on my experience, don't worry about it for a week or two -- If you don't "pop back in" where you were in that time-frame, then I'd start to worry a bit more.


4:14 pm on Nov 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

All rankings restored and are back to the pre-outage positions today. For me this illustrates the importance of reliable hosting.

It looks like Google takes immediate action when a high-traffic website goes offline, probably to maintain the quality of the serps.


6:13 pm on Nov 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

From my perspective, you are 100% correct Chris. It seems from previous experience that any outages over some specific amount of time (lick finger & stick in air), say around 6+ hours, hurts like hell your rankings. Just takes a few days to a few weeks (pending the length of the outage) to get back to normal.


2:12 am on Nov 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

Getting out of problematic hosting providers may save your sanity and worry.

Have other major outages happened in the past 3~6 months? If so, I would consider getting out and switch. Which is what I did to get out from my last host.

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 2:33 am (utc) on Nov 27, 2013]
[edit reason] edit at poster request [/edit]


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