Site down? No problem.

For those of you out there who see Matt Cutts’ Webspam Team as the SEO equivalent of Dr. Suess’ Grinch; here’s a tidbit of information to warm your heart. A little downtime is not going impact your overall ranking.

The news was delivered in one of Cutts’ trademark Q&A videos on the Google Webmaster Forum and YouTube. The video titled, If My Site Goes Down for a Day, Does That Affect My Rankings? is under 90 seconds long, but confirms Google’s, relatively, new and forgiving attitude towards downtime.

If Google search bots visits your site and find it down for the day because of ongoing maintenance or a problem with your ISP, you won’t be penalized. According to Cutts, you’ll just be revisited in about 24 hours. When this happens webmasters should receive a notice from Google.

That’s not, however, how things have always worked.

Experienced SEO hands can remember the days when Google wasn’t quite so forgiving. Back then, the bots only visited about once a month and if your site was down when they knocked on the door you were out of luck.

Cutts also points out that sometimes the problem is on their end and that it’s always a good idea to comb the forums a bit after receiving a notice from them. If you’re noticing a whole bunch of other webmasters asking the same question, it’s very possible that Google is to blame and will fix the problem as quickly as they can.

Does this news make you breathe a little easier? Share your thoughts on downtime and search bots in the comments section below.


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