Does Website Downtime Impact Search Rankings? – John Muller Explains

Google’s John Mueller said that temporarily closed sites are unlikely to have a negative impact on search rankings.

Also read: Importance of GMB for Local Search 

This is in response to a post on Reddit with the title: “Can I recover my lost Google ranking after nearly 5 days of inactivity?”

In short, the answer is yes!

But let’s review the background details first.

The website owner on Reddit pointed out that his organic search traffic had been steadily increasing before the site went down.

After restarting and running, you lost 10,000 organic clicks per day.

They resubmitted their sitemap, which will ping Google to crawl the page again.

After that, what’s the next step? This is Mueller’s suggestion.

Recovering Rankings After Downtime

In answering whether it is possible to restore the rankings after the downtime, Mueller said yes.

This should take a few weeks-he explained this in a lengthy follow-up comment, which may be his own blog post.

These are the conclusions.

  • Not a Quality Issue
  • No Ranking Drop For First Few Days
  • HTTP 4xx = Deindexing
  • Pages Get Re-indexed With Same Rankings
  • Google May Protect Sites That Go Down
  • If Rankings Don’t Recover There May Be Another Problem

Don’t Ignore The Problem

Finally, Mueller said it’s important not to assume that search rankings will automatically resume after the site’s temporary downtime.

This is still an issue that must be studied.


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