As promised, Google has put together both a blog post and a detailed developer document on how to pause your online business. This document helps you manage and retain your search rankings while not accepting business online.
— Lizzi Harvey (@LizziHarvey) March 26, 2020
This is obviously due to all the changes with COVID-19. Google wrote “If you’re unable to fulfill orders or many of your products out of stock, you may be considering temporarily closing your online business. If the situation is temporary, meaning you expect to be able to sell products in the coming weeks or months, we recommend that you take action that preserves as much of your site’s standing in Search as possible. This guide explains how you can safely pause your online business.”
Google said it is best to “limit your site’s functionality” as opposed to just taking it offline completely. Ways to limit your site’s functionality include:
If you must disable your whole web site, which Google highly discourages and does not recommend, Google says “This is an extreme measure that should only be taken for a very short period of time (a few days at most), as it will otherwise have significant effects on the website in Search, even when implemented properly.”
Here are some options Google said when doing this:
Forum discussion at Twitter.