Support » Plugin: Ultimate Maintenance Mode » How does this plugin affect search engine rankings?

  • Resolved chrinch


    Dear John,

    I liked this plugin above the others in this category because it is easy to install and looks good. However, I am wondering whether it needs to be used with a degree of caution?

    I installed and activated this plugin for approximately 12 days (between 28 Nov to 10 Dec). I deactivated the plugin yesterday and have since checked my Google rankings. Whereas I was on page 1 of Google search results prior to installing the plugin, I have now slipped to page 2 or even worse.

    I’m not sure if this is relevant but on 8 Dec, I received a ‘Googlebot can’t access your site’ email.

    Do you have any idea what might have happened?


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  • Plugin Author John Turner


    From the plugin’s perspective it’s follow all guidelines by Google when a downtime occurs. Here’s more on the subject

    The plugins returns a 503 and retry header. I think the fact that your had your site down for an excessive amount of time is the reason you lost your index. The 503 header stop Google from indexing the temporary state of the site.

    You’ll probably regain once Google re-crawls the site. You’ll have to wait for that to occur now.

    Plugin Author John Turner


    Here’s some more on the topic, it does appear Google will penalize for excessive downtime. But ranking recovered once his site was back up.!msg/webmasters/CNNJ35Bb98Y/5YNpl-5DEC8J

    John – thanks for the swift response and explanation. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that my Google indexing/ranking improves!

    In hindsight, I guess I should have managed my maintenance mode better in order to keep my downtime to a minimum. That said, I am a business manager first and foremost (as opposed to a web developer or systems administrator) and didn’t have either the time or level of knowledge I would have liked.

    May I suggest adding some notes to the plugin so that other people who are of a similar ‘ilk’ to myself (i.e. not especially technical) are aware of the dangers of leaving their website in maintenance mode for too long.

    Many thanks.

Viewing 3 replies - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)
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