Site Downtime: Will Rankings Be Affected?

Site Downtime Will Rankings Be Affected

Going online for 24/7 means a lot to a business however, going offline for more than that matters a lot to Google. Here’s a question from Sally.

Matt Cutts’ directly answered that when the website is offline for just about 24 hours, that won’t really hurt its rankings. However, if it’s offline for an extended time period, Google will try to replace your website with websites that are readable even if it doesn’t contain content better than yours. When this happen, you will be notified if you are registered with Google Webmaster Tools. So, if you are doing some downtime, make sure that it won’t be that long or else Google will pass your spot to other websites.

But what if you go beyond 24 hours? Your site will be taken out of SERP as it won’t be helpful to users. Google prioritizes the welfare of users, thus, they won’t wait until your site will go up again. Therefore, you must always check the status of your website, if it is planned downtime; it’s advisable to use 503 HTTP status. Also, you don’t have to worry because you can still regain your Google ranks after site downtime.

However, if the Google Rankings will not be affected, what will be impacted by site downtime?

Let’s say you are running an e-commerce sites where your customers can buy online. In an instance a prospect consumer doesn’t get through your website that was already an opportunity loss. In the economic perspective, it is considered as a cost such as competitor infiltration, loss of repeat purchasing & customer loyalty, negative brand equity, impaired employee productivity and 100% loss of PPC Spending.

Letting your site down for an extended time period will also tarnish your credibility. A user’s trust may fade if he or she saw that your website was down for a couple of days. He would perceive that your website was attacked by some virus or been penalized. Therefore, they will avoid your page. You will need to go back to start building again your brand and credibility.

What you need to do?

Aside from waiting for notifications, you should regularly check your website. Take note that it will take 1- 2 hours before you can find out that the website is down, more so, it will take 5-6 hours before you realize a website system downtime at night.

Unless your website is down for a longer period of time, you don’t have to worry about your rankings because rankings matter with following findings:

elements that matters with rankings

In 2013, SEO is trembled by different algorithm updates. There were issues about how proper link building should be done, or if link building is still alive. Should we still focus on anchor texts, domain authority, page ranks, or page authority?

A survey was done by Cyrus Shepard and Matt Brown with 120 SEOs. They measured the correlation of Anchor text, On-page keywords, Exact/partial match domain Social Signals with ranking highly in Google. The results showed this chart.

ranking factors

This study further proved that link building is very much alive. There are high correlations with keywords used as anchor texts though there was a tremendous decrease with EMDs. Also, social shares from Google Plus and Facebook give high relevance toward getting the ranks.

The findings boil down to the following conclusion:


Ranking in Google with the 2013 algorithm is still highly associated with link building. However, there must diversity of links as well as keywords used. Link building isn’t dead, only the old ways.

So, if your website is down for a short time period and your rankings were affected, you have to fix your website and look back at your backlink profile. Ranking in Google doesn’t just depend on the website that can be seen or read considering that a short time period of downtime won’t affect rankings. It is directly affected by offsite optimization by your links, social shares and keyword choices.

Thoughts? Please share it below.

Al Gomez

SEO Consultant, Online Marketer & Blogger, Web Developer & DLINKERS Founder.

“Chose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”