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Does changing hosts damage search rankings?
Need to make a change but worried about the effects

 2:06 pm on Oct 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

Hi All,

I have had the same site with the same host for about four years now, but I am having some serious issues with them and would like to move elsewhere.

If I change hosts and revamp the site will it be seen as a new site by the search engines, effectively dropping it from the listings and wiping out four years of trust?




 2:17 pm on Oct 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

As long as the domain name for the site stays the same, changing hosts generally does not matter at all.

When you do change hosts, it is best to keep your current host up and running for a while after switching. Google caches the IP related to a domain name so when you switch, they often don't immediately know you have switched and will still visit the old IP.

Just get your new account setup and everything switched over (nameservers etc.) and keep your old account running for about a month just to cya and your good.

It's not even 100% necessary to keep the old account running, as G seems to have gotten much better about picking up IP changes, but it's still a good safety measure to avoid any potential problems.

As for "revamping your site". What are you planning on doing? Just a cosmetic redesign? Will navigation, page names change or stay the same?

Depending on the scope of the changes, altering the site could have much more impact than simply changing hosts.

The Contractor

 2:19 pm on Oct 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

Nope, copy the site to your new hosting account>> leave old site/hosting up>>change nameservers to new hosting account>>leave old site up for a week or so>>cancel old hosting.

The above being said. If you are going after country specific traffic (UK,Canada etc.) make sure your new hosts IPs are based in that country. Meaning the servers can actually be based in USA, but the IPs need to be registered in the UK, Canada etc.

Many tools/sites can show where the IPs are based out of.

Edited: Philosopher types faster than I..

[edited by: The_Contractor at 2:22 pm (utc) on Oct. 19, 2006]


 4:22 pm on Oct 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the feedback guys :)

Philosopher - "As for "revamping your site". What are you planning on doing? Just a cosmetic redesign? Will navigation, page names change or stay the same?"

My site is currently with SBI in Canada, and it was built to their design using in-system templates. Basically, once I switch hosts the site will no longer exist as it only works on their platform.

It has about 200 + pages of good content, so I was simply going to spend time (a lot of time) copying and pasting the body text from each page into a new site in dreamweaver, maintaining the same structure, but with a fresh look and feel.

I can't see any other way around it.

I need to switch because they are hosting in Canada which is hurting my UK search ranking (as mentioned by contractor) and it also has canonical url problems and they don't allow 301 redirects.

It was great when I first started, but as I gained more knowledge I began to pick up holes in their system, so now it's time to move on.



 6:39 pm on Oct 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

One thing that can work against you is moving to a server that is on a "bad" IP. By bad IP I mean an IP that has possibly been banned by search engines.

I have never had this problem, although I imagine it could happen. I often use recomendations when seeking a new host. You just need to be careful.


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