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Google SERP slam follows ownership change
Tmellis

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3790444 posted 2:07 pm on Nov 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

A company i recently bought website has been slammed in Google in the last couyple of months. It still ranks number one for its name but everything else has completely fallen off the radar.

Terms that were top 5 don't even appear in the top 100 now and this is across the board! really effecting business obviously...

All that i did was change the host server over to mine (copy the website over)- could this have had an adverse effect? To this degree?

I think it is too much of a coincidence the changes happening after i change the host server to be an algorythm change or anything in Google- it isn't like i havoe only dropped a few places for a few terms!

Any help would be much appreciated.

Thanks.

 

tedster

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3790444 posted 6:23 pm on Nov 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

You're right - changing servers alone should not have this affeect. By any chance did you change the whois information?

enigma1

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3790444 posted 6:27 pm on Nov 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

It may have an impact depending on many factors, for instance geo-location of the new server, or shared/dedicated. Another thing is the marketing that was done for the site previously. Say they had thousands of backlinks to various pages that are now gone it could also the rank fall.

Robert Charlton

WebmasterWorld Administrator robert_charlton us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 3790444 posted 11:03 pm on Nov 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

...thousands of backlinks to various pages that are now gone ...

Changing the server shouldn't affect urls, and therefore shouldn't affect backlinks. Also, search engine indexing is named-based, not IP-based.

Shared/dedicated is generally not a ranking factor unless the shared IP has some extremely toxic stuff on it. This is the poster's server, so that would be under his control.

...the changes happening after i change the host server...

Has any substantial change been made to the site itself? A server change by itself shouldn't create a problem. A change of ownership coupled with a server change and site repurposing might raise flags.

minnapple

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3790444 posted 1:49 am on Nov 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

Could have been that some other factors such as relationships with promotional companies etc that were not transfered or disclosed at the point of sale?

webastronaut

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3790444 posted 2:38 am on Nov 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

I'm laughying Tedster...

Since you bought a company website, did you loose any inbound link relationships that may of been tied to the previous owner?

tedster

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3790444 posted 3:13 am on Nov 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

Well, Google has made it clear that they might "reset" all their measures of a domain when ownership changes, so it's worth asking. A total reset usually doesn't happen if there are no content changes, however, since it's common for entire businesses to change owners. In addition there certainly have been cases where previous owners knew how to sabotage a site after they sold it.

It's also possible that your new server allowed a hack to occur. I'd really check that angle out of the other ideas here aren't connecting. Some of the hacks around today are pretty sneaky, cloaking links so that only googlebot sees them, for instance. It's a common reason for all ranking to vanish.

enigma1

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3790444 posted 2:43 pm on Nov 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

Also, search engine indexing is named-based, not IP-based.

As far I know the Server IP in relation to the place where the query is being made from, is a factor. Tmellis mentioned pages not coming up with the search results. This is different than PR.

Robert, you can do a quick check on what I am saying, I know its not easy to do that from the same pc, but you could try with a proxy and check the geo-location just to make sure the 2 ips used for the test are from different countries say. So you could search for the same phrase having both ips (proxy and yours) point to google.com. Then examine the position of the results. At least for the tests I run here they show different results.

tedster

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3790444 posted 5:48 pm on Nov 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

You're right that the user's location (IP address) can affect Google rankings. However Tmellis is talking about major changes in ranking seen from the same location.

There are two IP addresses to consider, the search user's IP and the website's. Since the IP for the website just changed, it would be a good idea to check the new IP address to be sure it is assigned to the same country that the older one was.

There are many IP geolocation tools on the web - we won't be promoting any particular one here, so anyone who would like to check their website's IP should do that research for themselves.

zehrila

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3790444 posted 9:26 pm on Nov 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

Well, would you mind telling if it happened in June?

johnnie

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3790444 posted 2:29 am on Nov 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

Have you also been grey-barred?

Chrispcritters

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3790444 posted 7:46 pm on Nov 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

Did you remove/update all Google Webmaster Tools hooks?

Tmellis

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3790444 posted 5:08 pm on Nov 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

Sorry didnt reply earlier...

I have been chasing my tail with this for a while and think it may be a combination of factors - none of which are attributable to the IP change.

The site did not rank as well as the owner claimed for a number of search terms (unfortunately no way to check this now!)and i have been going on the owners word on previous positioning until now.

Its a pretty lame site in terms of links and content (one of the reasons bought as will be able to improve greatly) and so it could have been shifted with the algo change in the summer.

Thanks for the comments people and some interesting points on geo-location and IP changing. Lots of link building and content writing to be done...

Shaddows

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3790444 posted 5:37 pm on Nov 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

The site did not rank as well as the owner claimed for a number of search terms (unfortunately no way to check this now!)and i have been going on the owners word on previous positioning until now.

Seriously? N00b error if ever I saw one.

I would proceed as if you were starting from scratch, with no mind to past rankings of you have no real data for what they were and when they tanked.

pbradish

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3790444 posted 10:16 pm on Dec 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

I hope that you didn't pay too much for the website...

santapaws

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3790444 posted 11:10 pm on Dec 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

i have a really well ranking site im selling, my word is my bond. Trust me.

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