Loren’s post and Matt Cutts comment about sites being de-listed from Google because of down-time and also some discussions about problems with site moves from one domain to another and launches of big sites with a lot of pages plus the comments and recommendations from Search Engine representatives like Vanessa Fox from the Google Webmaster Central Team did not make me very happy.
So I was thinking and then thinking a bit more and I think that I have a very realistic solution to offer, which would be a win situation for all involved parties. This is no joke, so please continue to read.
It’s certainly worthwhile to think about and consider. Any feedback and comments are highly appreciated.
Recommendation 1. (smaller one)
This recommendation is for sites that are temporarily down for maintenance. We are talking about down-times measured in hours, may be days, not months.
Since Webmaster Central is now becoming more important and provides Webmasters more and more control, how about an option where the webmaster can indicate that the site undergoes maintenance and then again that the site is up again. The mechanism could be similar to the ping that is used to tell Google that an updated Site map is available.
Especially larger sites would benefit from it that get hit by spiders constantly, due to the number of pages and relevance.
Issue 2. and 3.
… While we are talking about maintenance.
I was engaged in two discussions about site moves to a new domain or the break up of content from one site to multiple sites or sub domains. I was going through that exercise myself last year and during the summer and some of the effects are still visible today.