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InMotion Hosting Server Failure via @sejournal, @martinibuster

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InMotion hosting suffered a major hardware failure on Monday December 13, 2021. The point of failure was the RAID array, which is the hard drives. The current status is that servers are being restored with the most up to date backups.

InMotion Server Failure

The server failure appears to have only affected one server, with the affected server being named, ecbiz213.

If your website is up and working, then this outage does not affect your site at all.

InMotion Hosting Customers Feedback

InMotion has been on Twitter addressing customer feedback. However some are reporting that they have not received notices.

It’s possible that hosting email accounts are tied to the server that is down, in which case any support emails would not be received.

One customer, Jason B. of Logos-Daily.com (@Logos_Daily) shared their experience:

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“I haven’t gotten any notifications at all from InMotion Hosting, and they’re sharing mixed details publicly as to what happened (“unscheduled maintenance” if you visit their status page, “hardware malfunction” if you chat with them privately…).

All of the information I’ve received, I’ve had to dig to find out.

I didn’t even know my sites were down until someone pinged me and let me know that the website wasn’t working.

Come to find out, we’re not even certain if we can get the sites back in full (says their support).”

Another InMotion customer shared a similar story on Twitter:

To their credit, InMotion Hosting has been proactive on Twitter responding to customer concerns as they arise. 

According to InMotion Hosting:

“We regret to inform you that at 12:30 PM (EST) on Monday, December 13th, 2021, ecbiz213 suffered a major hardware failure associated with the hard drives on the server.

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Despite the best efforts of our team, the RAID array has been deemed unrecoverable.”

InMotion today updated their support page to note that they were able to locate more up to date back ups, which is good news.

That means they will be able to restore websites, hopefully to the very latest versions.

Website Backups

It’s always a good idea to have a backup on hand for precisely this reason. While a web host generally maintains backups of their hard drives it’s definitely a best practice to maintain a daily or weekly backup.

Even for websites that are relatively static it is still a good practice to backup the website on daily basis because those backups will be helpful in the event of a hacking, which will allow a site to be restored to a state prior to the hacking event and from there fix whatever vulnerabilities are there, to prevent the hacking from happening again.

Hard Drives Tend To Fail

I administer my own server and have received these notices in the past about disk sector errors, which is a clue that the disk is beginning to fail. In those situations I request disk replacements before they fail, having learned my lesson from previous meltdowns.

Hard drive failures are inevitable on servers and because of that it’s important to keep an eye on disk performance. Normally there is server monitoring that can detect and report on disk errors that precede a complete disk meltdown.

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InMotion had those in place, but somehow proactive action could not be taken prior to the failure.

According to a spokesperson at InMotion:

“InMotion Hosting’s engineers actively monitor the health of all disks using a variety of checks and replace them as they exhibit symptoms of imminent failure.

In addition to leveraging software like Icinga to monitor the drives, we also have an on-site Data Center team that manages our hardware, allowing us to act quickly and replace drives.”

Patience Is The Best Response

Moving to a new server can be a huge hassle and sometimes can result in ranking fluctuations.

In a case like this there is no reason to move to another server. An InMotion spokesperson noted that all customer websites are currently being restored.

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“As of today, the systems team is working to locate more up-to-date backups on the server for our customers.

They are currently in the process of checking the restorations on the server and making sure the most up-to-date backups are the ones restored. Our Systems team will restore accounts from the most recent backups we have on file as soon as possible.”

Citation

Read The InMotion Incident Report

ecbiz213 Failure and Recovery

Searchenginejournal.com

NEWS

Google December Product Reviews Update Affects More Than English Language Sites? via @sejournal, @martinibuster

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Google’s Product Reviews update was announced to be rolling out to the English language. No mention was made as to if or when it would roll out to other languages. Mueller answered a question as to whether it is rolling out to other languages.

Google December 2021 Product Reviews Update

On December 1, 2021, Google announced on Twitter that a Product Review update would be rolling out that would focus on English language web pages.

The focus of the update was for improving the quality of reviews shown in Google search, specifically targeting review sites.

A Googler tweeted a description of the kinds of sites that would be targeted for demotion in the search rankings:

“Mainly relevant to sites that post articles reviewing products.

Think of sites like “best TVs under $200″.com.

Goal is to improve the quality and usefulness of reviews we show users.”

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Google also published a blog post with more guidance on the product review update that introduced two new best practices that Google’s algorithm would be looking for.

The first best practice was a requirement of evidence that a product was actually handled and reviewed.

The second best practice was to provide links to more than one place that a user could purchase the product.

The Twitter announcement stated that it was rolling out to English language websites. The blog post did not mention what languages it was rolling out to nor did the blog post specify that the product review update was limited to the English language.

Google’s Mueller Thinking About Product Reviews Update

Screenshot of Google's John Mueller trying to recall if December Product Review Update affects more than the English language

Screenshot of Google's John Mueller trying to recall if December Product Review Update affects more than the English language

Product Review Update Targets More Languages?

The person asking the question was rightly under the impression that the product review update only affected English language search results.

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But he asserted that he was seeing search volatility in the German language that appears to be related to Google’s December 2021 Product Review Update.

This is his question:

“I was seeing some movements in German search as well.

So I was wondering if there could also be an effect on websites in other languages by this product reviews update… because we had lots of movement and volatility in the last weeks.

…My question is, is it possible that the product reviews update affects other sites as well?”

John Mueller answered:

“I don’t know… like other languages?

My assumption was this was global and and across all languages.

But I don’t know what we announced in the blog post specifically.

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But usually we try to push the engineering team to make a decision on that so that we can document it properly in the blog post.

I don’t know if that happened with the product reviews update. I don’t recall the complete blog post.

But it’s… from my point of view it seems like something that we could be doing in multiple languages and wouldn’t be tied to English.

And even if it were English initially, it feels like something that is relevant across the board, and we should try to find ways to roll that out to other languages over time as well.

So I’m not particularly surprised that you see changes in Germany.

But I also don’t know what we actually announced with regards to the locations and languages that are involved.”

Does Product Reviews Update Affect More Languages?

While the tweeted announcement specified that the product reviews update was limited to the English language the official blog post did not mention any such limitations.

Google’s John Mueller offered his opinion that the product reviews update is something that Google could do in multiple languages.

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One must wonder if the tweet was meant to communicate that the update was rolling out first in English and subsequently to other languages.

It’s unclear if the product reviews update was rolled out globally to more languages. Hopefully Google will clarify this soon.

Citations

Google Blog Post About Product Reviews Update

Product reviews update and your site

Google’s New Product Reviews Guidelines

Write high quality product reviews

John Mueller Discusses If Product Reviews Update Is Global

Watch Mueller answer the question at the 14:00 Minute Mark

[embedded content]

Searchenginejournal.com

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