I woke up today and quickly found out that one of the major players in the hosting space was having a massive outage. According to their own blog:
During the morning of August 2, 2013, Endurance International Group’s data center in Provo, UT experienced unexpected issues that impacted customers of bluehost, HostGator, HostMonster and JustHost. Company websites and some phone services were affected as well.
That sounds bad. Really bad. But how bad? Let's take a look at the data:
It's pretty clear that today was an outlier. A major outlier for all the affected companies.
Our data collection system here at Review Signal collected over 35,000 tweets today alone about these four companies. That is roughly 14 times the normal amount.
Interestingly enough, there are some very understanding customers out there too, it wasn't all negative.
How has it affected their rankings?
I must first note that most messages don't make it through our spam filtering systems for a variety of reasons. So despite there being over 35,000 tweets, we did not get 35,000 new reviews. Many of the messages were not up to our quality standards, eg. retweets, spam, duplicate messages and news. If you are interested in learning more about how we calculate scores and what kinds of messages count see our How It Works section.
I am not sure why, but BlueHost was impacted a lot more than it's bigger brother HostGator. BlueHost has 1.9 million domains on their server. They also received over 15,000 tweets about them today (50% more than HostGator).
BlueHost was rated at 57% (Overall Rating) from over two years worth of data collected. Today they dropped 8% to 49%. There were over 1,500 negative reviews today (Note: Our data was calculated early to write this article, the day isn't fully over yet).
HostGator is the largest of the bunch and has 2.15 million domains under management. They seemed to have fared the storm better than their brothers with less tweets about them in absolute number and relative to their size.
HostGator was rated at 62% (Overall Rating) and dropped 5% to 57%. HostGator received approximately 700 negative reviews today.
HostMonster and JustHost
HostMonster went from a 56% (Overall Rating) to 48%, which is a 8% decline. JustHost dropped from 46% to 41%, a total of 5%.
Today was a pretty awful day for all the companies above but some were affected more than others. I don't have any answer as to why that might be. There are many plausible theories such as perhaps there were more BlueHost customers in the Provo, UT data center than the other companies. But without further information, it's only speculation. UPDATE: I was told BlueHost actually has more customers than HostGator, even if HostGator customers have more domainers. A simple explanation as to why BlueHost was impacted more.
What I can say is a major screw up definitely impacts a company's reputation. But large companies seem to regress to the mean.
GoDaddy is a good comparison. They had a major DNS outage around September 11-12. It left a noticeable dip on the overall rating but it seemed to bounce back. February's dip is the super bowl effect that brings a lot of attention to them (more negative than positive, but attention nonetheless). The long-term volume of tweets also doesn't appear to be affected after a few days.
If we use GoDaddy as a benchmark, these companies will probably be back to their usual levels of service within a week, but today and the next couple days will leave a very long term impact on their rating at Review Signal.