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New IP - New Server
Does changing servers mean trouble with Google?
berrysharpie




msg:3017774
 8:19 pm on Jul 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

Hi,

We are planning on switching companies where are servers will be located. Obviously this means a new IP.

Is there ever a problem with making this switch? Are there suggestions anyone has for making this a smooth as possible ride?

Any thoughts are greatly appreciated.

Berry

 

CainIV




msg:3017803
 8:35 pm on Jul 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

When you move the server, leave the entire site at the old host as well for about two weeks. This always fixed any potential issues I had at the move.

Make sure any robots.txt or htaccess is move properly.

tahiti




msg:3018468
 2:34 pm on Jul 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

CainIV,

i have some doubts....

what does robots.txt and .htaccess moved 'properly' means in this case? do we keep these two files on both server during the server switching time? or we delete both files from the old server? any specific details to keep an close eye on it?

thanks,
Tahiti ....somewhere i wish to go :)

berrysharpie




msg:3018496
 3:24 pm on Jul 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

Good questions tahiti...

I want this move to be as smooth as possible!

SuddenlySara




msg:3018522
 4:10 pm on Jul 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

I did a move a few weeks back with a large site and no problems.
Just uploaded the site to the new IP (Do this before you point your domain) then after the domain was propigated to the new IP I deleted the site off of the old server. No change in listings with google and being crawled daily on the new IP.

phpdude




msg:3018527
 4:14 pm on Jul 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

Put up the new site, change the DNS and leave the old site up.

Check the raw logs of both sites daily to see when Googlebot stops crawling the old IP and starts consistantly crawling the new one.

Once you don't see Googlebot activity on the old one, delete the site.

I've changed so many times I can't keep count, and have never had a problem.

BillyS




msg:3018641
 6:13 pm on Jul 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

>>When you move the server, leave the entire site at the old host as well for about two weeks.

I agree. My last move was very smooth. Matt Cutts even talks about how to make a move.

After about two weeks you can take the old site down. You will notice that Googlebot should pick up on the new IP almost "immediately."

Frank_Rizzo




msg:3018696
 7:17 pm on Jul 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

Agree with all the above but one word of caution:

Never post up a link to any of your sites via IP address.

I did this on a server three years ago. I told users that the server was moving and that if they could not find widgets.com (because of DNS lag) they could access the site via 111.111.111.111

That was a bad move as I now have my site indexed twice. The live site is in the index, but also the old 111.111.111.111 server which was switched off 18 months ago.

I now have the problem of the new site, and the old site in the index and it's in a limbo state. I can't access the site to change the robots.txt as the IP no longer exists, I can not use the auto url removal tool as this only works on sites which are live, and G. says that they can do nothing about it.

Never, ever, post your sites IP address anywhere.

[edited by: Frank_Rizzo at 7:18 pm (utc) on July 22, 2006]

Right Reading




msg:3018780
 9:16 pm on Jul 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

Sorry, I know I'm being dense but I'm confused about this. If I move www.sitename.com to a new host how can I also leave it up for two weeks at the old host without incurring canonical or duplicate content penalties?

[edited by: Right_Reading at 9:19 pm (utc) on July 22, 2006]

afmbr




msg:3018966
 4:01 am on Jul 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

It will make a difference if you switch the country where the IP "lives".

I'm not in US, and my site is not targeted to US people. In fact, they're almost useless for them, because the content is not in English.

It always ranked well for people on my country, but a few months ago we switched to an US hosting company. A couple weeks after the move we simply could not be found anymore in searches for relevant keywords if the "pages from my country" option is selected.

Selecting "pages in my language" give some results from our site indeed, but only by using the "search the web" option we could see our site on the SERPs at decent positions for relevant terms.

Since "pages from my country" is the default on the local Google (to where people on my country get redirected automatically if they type "www.google.com"), needless to say that traffic has fallen considerably.

As an international publisher, I think that targetting SERPs by server IP is one major flaw on G algo. How can a simple host change make a site "not relevant" anymore for an entire country (and perhaps make it relevant to people that is not interested on in, or even can't read its pages, which may happen in case the text happens to have some English word)?

We've written to Google and explained the situation. We also asked if there's something that we could do to make G understand that our site only contains "pages from my country" again (perhaps an robots.txt directive, a XML-like "lang" attribute etc.).

Three months and no reply from them yet. Not even a canned e-mail.

CainIV




msg:3019489
 9:36 pm on Jul 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

i have some doubts....

what does robots.txt and .htaccess moved 'properly' means in this case? do we keep these two files on both server during the server switching time? or we delete both files from the old server? any specific details to keep an close eye on it?

Sometimes new server hosts have preconfigured httaccess with information already existing. My point was to ensure all htaccess for the new host site are identical to the old host domain and that all settings are checked including any 301 redirects.

CainIV




msg:3019490
 9:40 pm on Jul 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

Sorry, I know I'm being dense but I'm confused about this. If I move www.sitename.com to a new host how can I also leave it up for two weeks at the old host without incurring canonical or duplicate content penalties?

There should be no penalties at all as Google is simply directed to fetch the pages and is now 'pointed' to a new place to find them. This is why it is important to leave the old files and (as phpdude pointed out) checking the logs can be another confirmation that Google has visited the new ip.

Historically for me, leaving files on the old host for two weeks cleared up any potential issues. However, webmasters of websites who do not get indexed often will want to check those logs for confirmation.

SuddenlySara




msg:3019494
 9:48 pm on Jul 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

Hey berrysharpie How come you have not posted back here?

berrysharpie




msg:3020024
 1:29 pm on Jul 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

Good morning....

Terribly sorry, I posted and then had a horrible weekend! One of those lovely weekends where nothing goes right and EVERYTHING breaks down! All is well now *I hope* and now I can get back to stressing about servers.

Although, from everything you guys have said, I don't have much to worry about. This really calms me down as we are planning sometime this week to get a new server. I was hoping that one current issue would be resolved before the switch but it does't look like it will. Seems after I put a NOODP tag up, my front page dropped from many of the DC's. I am sure it is a coincedence but it is frustrating nonetheless.

Once we start the server switch, I will let you all know how it goes since you helped pumped me up to just go ahead and make the move.

Sometime later this week I am expecting.

Cheers and thanks for all the help!

Berry

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