John Mueller Advices How to Handle Temporary Site Closure

Though online world is meant to be always on, it still needs break for a little while. Google’s Webmaster Trend’s Analyst, John Mueller discusses regarding this through his recent blog how search engine optimization (SEO) professionals and webmasters can easily handle site closures or outlages that tend to last for a day or longer. He suggests that there are times when you need to stop your online presence temporarily. This article is going to discuss some available options so that a site’s presence is not affected.

Block function of cart – In case your website needs prevent users from buying any products or services, you can simply stop function of cart. You can easily do it using robots.txt file or just prevent it from indexing with a robot-meta tag. As search engine either will never see or index that content, you can then easily provide details to many users in the most suitable way. For instance, you can easily disable to the link to the cart and then add a relevant message or also will be able to display a detailed page instead of this shopping cart.

Show interstitial or pop-up – In case, you wish to block your site from visitors, the server must be able to return a 503 HTTP result code, which reflects as ‘Service Unavailable.’ Moreover, the 503 result code generally ensures that the search engine doesn’t index the temporary content that is highlighted to many users. In absence of such code, the pop up tends to be indexed as your website’s content.

On the other hand, Googlebot can retry pages that can easily return 503 for up to about a week, before treating it as a permanent error that can result in those of important pages being dropped from some search results. Moreover, you must also keep the things in your mind that blocking your website for a longer than a week can certainly have some negative effects on the website’s results in regard of the method that you use.

Switch your entire website off – Turning off your server is said to be the most important option to block your website. This method is also applicable when it comes to moving your server to a different data center. For the same, you will get a temporary server available to serve a 503 HTTP result code for all important URLs and also switch your DNS to point to your server during that time.

  • First and foremost, it is important for you to set your DNS TTL to a low time (it should be approximate 5 minutes) a few days in advance.
  • You should then change Domain Name Server (DNS) to the temporary server’s IP address.
  • It is important to take your main server completely offline once all requests to go to the temporary server.
  • Your server will then become offline
  • When ready, you should then bring your main server online again.
  • When you are ready, you can then bring your main server online again
  • After this, you can switch your DNS back to the main server’s IP address.
  • You can then change the DNS TTL back to normal