Do you monitor your availability?

Fri May 8 14:30:00 2015

I probably don't need to state that your website in likely the first data point that people will find when looking for you today. Aside from your own marketing efforts their is a high percentage of automatic data collection. Your site will be scraped by search engines, listing apps, auto-compiled and software for mobile services will pull such data and present you on a map or in a catalogue. All of this is regardless of you submitting yourself to the mapping services, or having a significant social presence.

If you have a mobile friendly site then Google will reward you, the listings on maps, social sites etc., will show even more of your digital footprint to the casual passer-by.

In the age of 'big data' and even larger collections of indexes and lists we rely on robots, automatic systems to create and compile index links. However there is an increasing practice, especially in regards to mobile internet, to use the 'live' view of your presence. As download speeds become faster and connectivity stable the applications do not bother with vast, archaic, data collection systems but on live preview, showing fresh content.

Every marketing agency and SEO expert on the planet is telling you about using fresh content to encourage following and improve listing. Of course this is all very interesting, but what happens if your site is not available?

Even We are not Immune

I have a recent example for you. The main Shadowcat site is located at http://www. shadow.cat, we used to be at http://www.shadowcat.co.uk but were able to move to the better name. As good net citizens we kept the links and pages of our old site alive by using 301 redirects and correctly configured DNS.

Our Moz rank (an important SEO result) hovers around 5.7-5.9, we are on the cusp of 6.0, well we were. We had a small issue with the DNS with our shadowcat.co.uk site. All the links for that were therefore not available to indexing, and in a single day we dropped Moz rank to 4.52 (a drop of 1.47) and we lost email service for a short time.

A graph showing the drop in ranking The above graph shows the drop in ranking and lists the altered MozRank

That's a staggering difference, all because of a small issue that we thankfully corrected quickly. We are fairly expert in this area and we encountered an issue that has affected some business communication and our visibility to the wider world. All of that was done in less than 24hrs.

We know what happened, we know when it happened and we knew how to solve it. Had it happened on a weekday instead of a Sunday before a Bank Holiday we would have noticed even quicker and fixed it faster.

Monitor Everything

We have monitoring, we monitor our email, we monitor our website and can see when it is unavailable and can see when it needs attention. Do you monitor yours?

I am sure you host your site on good servers, use a reputable design team and good quality hosting service. I am also confident that they monitor the servers and the hosting. But do they monitor the availability from outside their network? Do they look to see if your site is visible to the wider world, or the email being delivered? Do they do it every 5 minutes and report issues? Do you have access to service graphs showing availability of services and response of the hardware?

I hope so. How would you be affected if your site went down for a few minutes, or repeatedly, or for 24 hours? If you want to learn more we have a cloud based monitoring solution that is affordable for small companies yet scalable to large organisations seeking to have a objective view on their service availability.

Visit http://www.shadownms.com to learn more.





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