How Web Hosting can Ruin Your Rankings

SEO Tutorials | April 17th, 2008 | 2 Comments

On late of November I wrote an article that would describe how web hosting and seo are related one to each other. The post was published before this blogs host went all weird. I was previously hosting with ResellerZoom and I was aware that they were going to move servers and since the blog started acting all weird after I installed Simple Anti Bot Registration Engine to stop wordpress spam registrations, so one night I decided to make a full backup of the blog and keep it on my desk. To my surprise the server went down just in the middle of the backup ugh!

The blog went down, corrupt database and what so not and I could not wait any longer for the server to come up. I had to move, and move fast since the blog was down for way too long. With the half database I had (thankfully the admin db and of most of the posts was still there) I moved with HostNine and within few hours I had my blog up again and working (with some small bugs here and there which I fixed later one) and most importantly accessible again for search engine spider bots and visitors, but what was lost during the 3 days of down time?

From SEO point of view the site lost rankings for several internal pages, starting from the double listing for title optimization (not much traffic but quiet a pleasant double listing) and the page has been actually removed from Googles index. Isolated case? Hell no, same feature follow the Kontera affiliate post, lost rankings + page deindexed, and with several other internal pages.

These are things that I lost due to server downtime that I can see, what I can’t see is the number of visitors I lost and the number of possible RSS subscribers (maybe I would have reach the 100 RSS subscribers mark earlier? Who knows). But this is for a blog, what might happen to a established business which has its gross income from online?

Case 1 Unreachable site – The visitor reads about your services from elsewhere, is enthusiast from what he read and wanted to personally check your site. Follows the URL and lands in your…page not found site. Ugh! This will probably kill all the enthusiasm and the visitor is might just not come back again and check your offers, even tho you have hired personal, the sales support staff, hired someone to code a custom shopping cart..but nothing, your site is not reachable.

Case 2 Losing Rankings – It is possible that for a short down time your site will not lose your main targeted keywords with which your homepage ranks, but for a longer down time this is most likely going to happen and it takes awhile since the search engine spider bot recrawls your site (after his first attempt of crawling when he reached the Page Not Found message) and determines again your rankings in the SERPs. Losing a position or two in very high competitive keywords it means losing a lot of visitors and a lot of possible sales. Once again, you are losing money due to server crash.

Case 3 Losing Inbound Links – Those same people that read about your advertising or reference from a previous customer about your website and business come to your site….page not found….what you might have lost is another linkbait, your services might be so good that everyone would want to blog or spread the word on the net. But with an unreachable site no one will be able to actually see your amazing services or products.

These are just of the few ways how your web hosting can ruin your rankings, make you lose inbound links and in the worst case make you lose money and decrease your sale-meter for the days (hours, minutes) your site was unavailable. The bad thing is that you can’t have much control over this, unless you run your site under two servers with one main server and second mirroring server so when the first goes down the second pops up and keeps your site available, this is the clustered hosting technology which ResellerZoom (or its sister site HostingZoom) is using, but unfortunately I wasn’t on the clustered server.

Why Sites Lose Rankings if Unavailable

There is a logical explanation why websites that have been unavailable for a longer time do lose rankings even with their homepage on their targeted keywords. The fact that the homepage rankings resists longer is that the homepage usually has more inbound links which makes the homepage stronger then the internal pages. As you can see from my experience it took just 2 days and a half to lose (and even get de-indexed) rankings for internal pages.

More about the reasons why a site loses rankings you will read tomorrow. Subscribe to my RSS feed to read the article from your preferred RSS reader or have the post delivered via email in your inbox.

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2 Responses to “How Web Hosting can Ruin Your Rankings”
  1. I had a client recently move their site from one host to another without consulting me. The end result was 4 days with no website and after that an immediate 25% dip in traffic.

    The great part is that it can take weeks to start building again.

  2. Yup thats the worst scenario Paul, it takes way too long to start building again and it takes just so few to lose a lot of hard work. It took me a week or so to get back to where I previously was after the downtime.