Last Updated on August 22, 2022 by rida
In a period like the current one, in which due to force majeure – specifically, the COVID-19 emergency – many companies find themselves having to suspend their activities in order to follow the directives of the law, the great question mark of how to manage digital channels remains. What is the best course of action in the event of a temporary closure ?
From a digital marketing point of view , disabling websites – but also not updating them, albeit with general indications or changes compared to opening hours – would be a serious mistake , because a complete killing of the channel would risk generating data loss in Search Console. and complicate backup operations.
If, therefore, on the one hand the pandemic forces many companies to close until a later date , on the other hand it is more essential than ever to preserve one’s visibility on Google and correctly limit (not suspend) the functionality of websites.
Even the Mountain View giant has given indications in this sense: but what are they?
Pandemic and temporary closure of companies: Google’s advice
Google first suggests not to disable websites , even for a few days , precisely because of the negative effect that this action would have on organic positioning .
In practice this means that if companies still want to be found by their potential customers on search engines, they will need to keep their web channels available so that users can still discover their products and services. This rule is also valid when the company is closed : it will be sufficient to publish a news or place a popup on the homepage indicating the changes when the activity is opened.
Conversely, businesses that completely disable their website because it is temporarily closed will have a harder time getting indexed again once the emergency is over.
But what to do if, for particular reasons, the company website must be disabled for a period ? In this case, Google recommends taking special precautions :
- For temporary site removal, always use Search Console Removals Tools
- If the site has to be unpublished for one or two days, it is possible to return an information error page with code 503 of “service not available”
- If the takedown is longer in terms of time, you will need to create an indexable placeholder for the homepage of the site, this time using the 200 http code.
In general, we always suggest that you keep the site published , even with limited functionality. When everything returns to normal, Google recommends that you follow these guidelines to keep your visibility on the search engine unaltered:
- Users can be informed of the temporary closure or suspens
- ion of some services through a banner or a popup on the homepage
- Structured data should be modified to reflect events, the availability or unavailability of certain products, and information related to closures
- Google MyBusiness is an efficient tool that companies can use to report that their business is temporarily suspended
- Instead, ecommerce sites should always follow the instructions of the Google Merchant Center and, where necessary, disable the shopping cart functionality.
- It is always advisable to inform Google of changes to the site by requesting a recrawl from Search Console
The ones we have listed are very important operations , aimed at containing the inevitable repercussions that the COVID-19 emergency has generated on the economy: operating correctly at a digital level will in fact allow you to avoid unpleasant long-term events in the context of organic visibility . . Don’t waste your SEO work!
If you want the advice of NAXA experts , remember that we remain at your disposal. Even at this time.