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How Can I Tell if a Shared Server Causes Ranking Trouble?

     
9:16 pm on Jul 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I recently transferred a new site and redirected all the internal URLs that still exsited and 404d the rest about 5 weeks ago. My rankings were strong and stayed on the first pagfe and actually moved up a notch or 2 until about a week ago and now they have dropped to 2nd and 3rd page.

Although there can be many other issues impacting my new ranks, How can I determine if thye new PHP shared server hosting about 550 other sites can be blamed for and SEO problems? My last site for example was also on a shared .cfm server.

How to tell if the new Host and their shared server I am on are negatively impacting my Google Rankings?

Thanks

9:32 pm on July 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I recently transferred a new site and redirected all the internal URLs that still exsited and 404d the rest about 5 weeks ago.

I would suspect this was a big player in the problem as well. Do you have a static IP was it checked out to make sure it was clean.

Redirected url's to the correct pages?

There is so much that could have caused this it is really hard to say a thing without asking a question.

Best advice here is put a detailed chain of events starting with the site change from cmf to php. What the redirects were sent to how many 404's.
How was the change done in dns was the same IP used or was the stie moved to a different host.

If it was moved to a new host how did you do the move.

9:37 pm on July 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Shared servers almost never cause ranking troubles these days. The most common (but still rare) problems come when the hosting software allows your site to be hacked and used for parasite hosting.

Sharing an IP address, even with some relatively dark domains, is not a ranking factor unless you cross-link or something like that.

You might want to check the DNS setup to be sure it's technically sound, but I agree with bwnbwn, the changes you are seeing are probably coming from another source - including the fact that your site is still relatively new. It's not uncommon to have great rankings at the beginning and then see them fall off, only to gradually come back as your site gets more strongly established and linked to.

9:44 pm on July 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

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You mentioned that you

redirected all the internal URLs that still exsited and 404d the rest about 5 weeks ago

Can you explain why this was necessary? Did the domain name itself change?

Did the URL structure of the site change?

Normally, if you are simply transferring from one host to another, there is no need to do any redirects as the only thing that changes is the IP of the site.

If you are having to 404 some pages, and redirect others, then it sounds like a good portion (all?) of your URL structure changed. If this is the case, then it is almost certainly your problem and will simply take some time to right itself.

10:05 pm on July 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Ok I guess it's probably not the server. The redirected 301 on existing pages go properly. The old pages get 404'd and I put robot.txt files to make sure the bots do not see the old emailafriend type pages or see larger image old urls. I just have all those 404 and I can see in WMT that what showed 400 a or so Not Found files couple weeks ago is now down to about 120 so they are purging themselves out of the system I guess. I worry about a penalty or overoptimization but it is very hard to tell if i have done that. Tedster, I do have most of the old links still coming to the homepage because that URL has not changed.

If my site has 500 pages, but i really only need the homepage to come up for the key search term " widgets " is it overoptimization to have widgets in alot of the product pages meta tags. It still does apply to those pages in reality such as they are red widgets or personalized widgets Or is it better to keep that search term out of all the sub product level pages because it takes away from the home page for that term? The flip side is those pages maybe should have the search term in their metas so the site looks like it has alot to do with widgets. What do you think?

Thanks

10:12 pm on July 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Philosopher, I did go from .cfm to php so all the internal URLs did change so I took as much caution as I could to properly 301 the internal pages that were still active and the old previously indexed pages that will no longer exist on the new site I 404'd.

My ranks stayed about the same and even increased a nip about 2-3 weeks after the new site launched on the new server, but has dipped since. i tried to attribute the slight increase in ranks to the new cleaner url structureand addition of H1 and H2s and attempt to limit any areas I saw duplicate metas etc., but now I'm not sure what is going on that the dropping has started.

10:32 pm on July 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Ahh...make sense now.

The change in filetype and the removal of all those pages is almost certainly the cause.

The two week increase was most likely prior to Google beginning to really spider the site and find the redirects and 404'd pages.

The 301's will help, but it's still as if all the pages of the site except for the homepage disappeared. When this happened, you also lost all of the internal links to the homepage and other pages.

As the new URLs are picked up and the PR and trust is shifted from the old URLs to the new structure, I would expect your rankings to come back.

It may take a bit longer for the rankings of the internal URLs to come back, but they should over time. A client just went through this about 4 months ago and we are now starting to see the internal pages ranking again.

11:51 am on July 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

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It's also been almost 6 weeks and when I see my homepage URL show up in the ranks it Still does not show the cached link next to it.

When I check by site: it does show some pages are indexed, but only the homepage still shows Pagerank in the google toolbar.

What's the deal with not having a Cached appear next to my ranking since May 22 when i relaunched?

12:11 pm on July 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Do you have a static IP was it checked out to make sure it was clean.

How do you check if an ip is clean ?

4:59 pm on July 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

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by clean I was referring to being banned. [webmasterworld.com...]
here is a neat tool to check an ip for possible issues
[dnsstuff.com...]