Deindexed from the Search Engine – A page is indexed by Google if it has been visited by the Google crawler (“Googlebot”), analyzed for content and meaning, and stored in the Google index. If you are a Digital Marketer, or more specifically, if you have any knowledge about SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and use it on your strategies, there are chances that you are always trying to have your pages on the top of Google Searches.
Using the right keywords and terms related to the main subject throughout the content is one of the most important premises for ranking well on a search. However, on December 10th, John Mueller, a Google Search Advocate brought up some important updates for SEO specialists and Digital Marketers to keep in mind during the Google Search Central SEO hangouts.
During the meetup, Mueller received a question from Aakash Singh, who asked how to reduce the potential impacts of keeping their website down for a week or two while they fix some bugs. The answer was clear and might surprise some other specialists.
How to avoid being deindexed
According to Mueller, if your website is down for a few days, it will be deindexed from the Search Engine. This is very likely to be done because Google might try to deliver results that are relevant to the user, not bugged pages.
Here are some important points you should know about, so you can reduce the impact of this news on your SEO strategies:
Keep your eyes wide open
Always check if your pages are properly running live, make sure that there’s no bug, and plan recurrent inspections to keep it up to date;
Fix things as fast as you can
If you need to fix anything on your website, try to do it within a day, and use a 503 result code, so Google will “know” that it is a temporary outage and check back. If it is not live in a short period, the page is very likely to be deindexed;
Have a Plan B
Try anything you can do to avoid outages, but if it is a planned maintenance or the page is down for any different reason, another thing you can do is follow Mueller’s advice: “…setting up a static version of the website somewhere and just showing that to users for the time being.”
Once your page is down, it will have a long way to get back on top
If you have one of your pages deindexed for more than only a few days, it is not guaranteed that when it is back the page will be ranked exactly as it was previously. You might experience strong fluctuations for some time until having it all back in.
The implications of being deindexed
It is important to have in mind that a deindexed page or a fluctuating ranking on Google can result in multiple effects and metrics besides page views. There are plenty of other metrics that can be impacted, such as leads converted, deals, new business opportunities, and impact in other internal and external pages when it comes to link-building strategies.
John Mueller brought a huge contribution to the SEO world, so now marketers can have a better idea of how Google works with pages that are under maintenance or going through bugs. Remember to keep your eyes open and try all you can to keep your pages live.
If not possible, fix everything as fast as possible, then you can make sure that you will not be fluctuating on the rankings.