A 408 Request Timeout error message is a HTTP status code that appears if the browser is experiencing longer waiting times than expected. The home page you are trying to visit will time out, because the connection to the browser was updating too slowly for the server making the request.
408 errors can be due to a bad quality internet connection
If a 408 Request Timeout appears on a server, it may be due to a sub-par internet connection from the computer making the request. In other words, the client was unable to receive the same amount of data that was sent by the server.
A 408 error is considered a “normal” error and is often temporary. The error can often be resolved if the user refreshes the website.
If a page refresh does not help, the solution may be to close the browser completely and open it again a little later. Alternatively, try to access the affected URL using a different browser.
May also be caused by other external factors
It is not always the client that is the problem. Often it can also be the server that is simply too slow to respond. In these cases, a 408 changes from being a client-based error to a server-based error, which causes problems in search results. It also means that Googlebot will also receive a 408 request timeout.
There can be many reasons for this. If the website is on a shared server, the problem may be due to overload on one of the other sites that is hosted on the same server, therefore affecting the performance of that particular server.
However, it may also be because the server you are on just does not have the capacity to process the level of traffic accessing the website.
The problem with 408 Request Timeout
Experiencing a 408 error can deter many potential customers away from your website and may even tempt them to visit your competitor’s website instead. Therefore, it is very important to resolve the issue if the error is caused by the server on which your website is hosted.
Google can see these errors
Google considers 408 errors as an indicator of poor quality for their users, which will have a negative effect on the overall quality assessment of the website.
It is your responsibility as the owner of a website to ensure that the server on which you choose to host your website has the capacity that you need.
How should you deal with 408 request time outs?
If 408 request time outs are not temporary and the problem is server-side, you should find a better server on which to host your website.
It is therefore essential that you check and evaluate whether the error is client or server-based.