Step By Step Instructions To Pause Your Business Online In Google Search
As the effects of the coronavirus grow, we’ve seen businesses around the world looking for ways to pause their activities online. With the outlook of coming back and being present for your customers, here’s an overview of our recommendations of how to pause your business online and minimize impacts with Google Search.
Recommended : Limit Site Functionality
Disable the cart Functionality : Disabling the cart functionality is the simplest approach, and doesn’t change anything for your site’s visibility in Search.
Tell Your Customers What’s Going On : Display a banner or popup div with appropriate information for your users, so that they’re aware of the business’s status. Mention any known and unusual delays, shipping times, pick-up or delivery options, etc.
Update Your Structured Data : If your site uses structured data make sure to adjust it appropriately. If your business has a physical storefront, update Local Business structured data to reflect current opening hours.
Check Your Merchant Center Feed : If you use Merchant Center, follow the best practices for the availability attribute.
Tell Google About Your Updates : To ask Google to recrawl a limited number of pages, use Search Console. For a larger number of pages, use sitemaps.
Not Recommended : Disabling The Whole Website
If you need to urgently disable the site for 1-2 days, then return an informational error page with a 503 HTTP result code instead of all content. Make sure to follow the best practices for disabling a site.
If you need to disable the site for a longer time, then provide an indexable homepage as a placeholder for users to find in Search by using the 200 HTTP status code.
If you quickly need to hide your site in Search while you consider the options, you can temporarily remove it from Search.
Proceed With Caution :
- Your customers won’t know what’s happening with your business if they can’t find your business online at all.
- Your customers can’t find or read first-hand information about your business and its products & services.
- Knowledge Panels may lose information, like contact phone numbers and your site’s logo.
- Search Console verification will fail, and you will lose all access to information about your business in Search. Aggregate reports in Search Console will lose data as pages are dropped from the index.
- Ramping back up after a prolonged period of time will be significantly harder if your website needs to be re-indexed first.
- Additionally, it’s uncertain how long this would take, and whether the site would appear similarly in Search afterwards.