Downtimes and SEO

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One of the most debated questions in the world of Search Engine Optimization, as well as one that is in the most frequently asked list, “What happens to the SEO of my website if I have downtime?”

Firstly let us understand the agenda of Search Engines and the way they work, now Search Engines like Yahoo and Google are supposed to be having search results which people can visit, which people can go on to gather information they need and results which are over everything, useful for their visitors.

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So it is only natural for Search Engine to remove the pages of a website from its index if Downtimes occur, since the search engines do not want people searching for something and ending up at a website that doesn’t even work. However, there has to be a severity of a downtime for the Search Engine to actually take the plunge and remove the web page from its index.

Sometimes this can take months, and the other times it might take a few days. It all depends on a few factors:

– Past downtime history of the website
If a website is known to have downtimes and coming back up, the Search Engines will not remove their pages from the index, but the website and its pages will also not be able to rank high in the SERPs.

– Time of downtime
Search Engines regularly check for the existence of pages, and if after an x amount of times,  the Search Engine cannot reach the page., it demotes the page from its ranking in the Search Engine, if even then after a further x amount of times the Search Engine cannot find the page, it will remove the page from its index. If its just put down in rankings, its rather easy to get back up with some updates, however if the page has been removed, it could get back in natural course if its back up and running for a decent amount of time.
– Domain Registration
If a website went down because its registration expired. Search Engines will most likely delete all traces of the website from the SERPs in a week or two at most after the website going down. Once this has happened, the website will have to work all its way back into the search engine all over again.

Not a lot to worry about as far as SEO is concerned, but still this is something you should watch out for, downtimes never *ruin* your SEO contrary to popular beliefs. But they could still harm it temporarily, so try not to have downtimes, thats the only advice I can give on this matter.

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