How missing a single Shopify bill can kill your SEO

Every now and then I’ll hear from a customer who lost some of their Rich Results.

I can’t find anything wrong with their structured data but after a bit of sleuthing into their history often I uncover that Shopify closed their store.

Shopify does this when a store fails to pay their invoice and it can wreck havoc on all of the store’s SEO, Rich Results included.

What happens is Shopify blocks traffic to all of your regular store pages and replaces them with a special page saying that the store is unavailable.

Shopify also sends a special HTTP code which says there’s a payment issue (HTTP 402).

As far as Google is concerned, every page of content in your store is now offline.

Google won’t immediately remove everything. Their algorithm will wait a bit and try again because they understand that a webpage might go offline temporarily.

After a few days or weeks though, Google will start to remove all of the pages from the search results. That also means all of the search enhancements and Rich Results are removed too.

Wait long enough to pay the invoice and Google will have forgotten the store existed.

Once the store is back online it’s possible to have Google come back and start re-adding everything.

It’ll take awhile for rankings and Rich Results to recover though, sometimes they’ll come right back but other times the store could be starting over from scratch.

So make sure you keep up on your Shopify bill and don’t do anything that takes your site offline for longer than a day or two.

(Two other ways a Shopify store can go offline and lose results are failing to renew the domain name or by enabling the store password).

SEO can be a fragile thing which is why it’s important to use stable and trusted tools.

When it comes to structured data and Rich Results, JSON-LD for SEO is the safe and effective choice. It’s trusted by thousands of Shopify stores and has been operating since 2015.

Eric Davis

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