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Changed IP Address - Now Google Crawling Non-Existent Pages

 6:31 am on Sep 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

I recently changed the IP Address of one of my website and moved it to a dedicated IP Address. The IP Address was not fresh and maybe was used my some other website before.

Now i find Google Crawler crawling pages that are non-existent on my website.In my log file i have numerous 404 messages. I have never had such issue in the past and i believe this can hurt my rankings.

Also i always believed that Google Crawler crawls website based on the Domain Name and not on the IP Address.



Andy Langton

 9:16 am on Sep 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

404 sounds like absolutely the right response in this instance. Basically, it's gone and your server doesn't know why.

I would suggest a little research into who last used the ip, though. Can't be too careful about such things!


 9:25 am on Sep 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

will it impact my rankings and why is Google crawling pages based on Ip Address instead of domain name ?


 9:27 am on Sep 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

Are you redirecting the IP address to the website. I would try returning 404 instead of 301 for IP address requests.

Andy Langton

 9:33 am on Sep 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

Google crawls everything it can get its hands on, and requesting websites via IP is perfectly valid, and in some instances will also be linked to. It's unlikely to affect your rankings, but if the previous site had "quality problems" with Google then there is an amount of risk.


 9:50 am on Sep 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

Yes i am redirecting the New Ip Address to my website now and i am not sure what the previous owner of this ip used this ip for.

I find google trying to access pages like "mydomain.com/Female-Escorts-In-Dallaware/" etc. which are non-existent


 10:31 am on Sep 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

Stop redirecting, instead return 404 for requests via IP.

Robert Charlton

 5:32 pm on Sep 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

Yes i am redirecting the New Ip Address to my website now...

If this were a new site on a clean IP, best practice would be to consider a request to the IP address as a non-canonical request, to be fixed in canonicalization.

If this hadn't been done by previous owner, though, and there are "numerous" links on the web to what's now your new IP, and these links are from low-quality sites, enough of them could conceivably hurt you.

Either use a link database with good historical records like Majestic, to see where those backlinks are from, or else simply 404 those requests for the IP.


 7:11 pm on Sep 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

i am not sure if the redirection part has been understood.

xxx.xxx.x.xx is redirecting to my URL. It is a dedicated IP Address pointing to my domain name. I in no way trying to redirect the non-existent 404 pages to my domain name.

I think i should ask my server company to give me fresh IP Addresses instead of the old ones but don't you think crawling site based on IP Address and not on the basis of Domain name is a bit unfair. Moreover IP V 4 are already exhausting and server companies are always hesitant in issuing new IP Addresses.


 7:24 pm on Sep 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

Don't redirect IP to your hostname.

Block those requests; 404, 410, whatever.

Andy Langton

 8:42 pm on Sep 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

crawling site based on IP Address and not on the basis of Domain name is a bit unfair

It's not an issue of fair or not fair - Googlebot makes a request at an IP address, which responds with your website. If you don't want that to happen, it's down to you to configure your server so it doesn't. The fact that your site is available via IP is purely down to server configuration, not Google.

Indeed, there are some websites that are only available via IP and do not have DNS entries at all, so it's wholly understand that Google follows IP-based links.

If you have an IP previously used for undesirable activity, this could be a problem whether or not Google crawls it, and you would be wise to get one that's "clean".

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