Internal Server Error

Keeping Your SEO Ranking Up While Your Website Is Down

Have you recently experienced a website outage? Worried that your rankings were affected when the site went down? Website outages can mean huge losses to your business let alone having a negative impact on your website SEO ranking. It is very important to set aside a plan on how to handle such issues and ensure that your search rankings are not affected beyond repair.   

What Happens When The Site Goes Down?

During a website outage, your server will send 500 error messages to indicate to potential visitors that your site is inaccessible because it cannot fulfill the browser’s request. 500 and 503 error messages discredit your brand and you need to avoid them at all costs. You can do this by migrating to a more efficient server or host.

Difference Between 404 And 500 Error Messages

When your website has 404 error message it shows that only a single page or file is missing or the request cannot be fulfilled by the browser. However, 500 error messages indicate that the entire server itself is experiencing issues. The good thing with 404 error pages is that you can always customize them to suit your user needs. You can provide users with other options to continue browsing your site even after they come across a 404-error message unlike during a website outage when all requests cannot be completed.

The Risks Of Server Outages

Sometimes server outages lead to significant drop in rankings. This is usually followed by lower conversion rates and sales. Search engines will send fewer people to your website during an outage because it doesn’t want to give users a poor experience. Search engines want to ensure that searches find the information they are looking for fast and effectively. It avoids showing the pages with 500 error messages because of this. While even the most popular websites experience server outages, the key is to ensure you have minimal downtime. If the downtimes are too much, you need to make changes to prevent affecting your rankings, traffic and sales.

A Drop In Natural Search Traffic

If you get a lot of traffic from branded searches, you are unlikely to be affected by a server outage. However, if you get traffic from nonbranded queries, you will notice a performance drop. This is because search engines will direct users to other sites that target similar customers by providing products or services related to the nonbranded queries. Your competition may take advantage of this and notice an improvement in traffic when your server goes down.

The Length Of Downtime Is Key

How long was your website outage? The length of time for which the website was inaccessible will also impact on its rankings. If the server outage was just for a few hours, it wouldn’t have such a huge impact compared to when it happens for days. Make sure you take quick measures to get your site up and running as fast as possible when the serve goes down. The more time it’s inaccessible, the more you are risking in terms of search rankings.


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