Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 126.96.36.199
Nothing has changed on the site at all. It's been exactly the same for about a year (and pretty much identical to the day it was launched in 2003)
Al that has changed is that I switched bandwidth providers and therefore the IP address changed (although the domain is still the same)
Is an IP change enough to tip a web site in to the sandbox?
If so if I leave the site, will it return, or should I try and find out what's wrong and fix it?
I'm not sure how I forgot this, but I moved the site from a subdirectory to a subdomain, which of course would be enough to cause my site to freefall in the rankings!
With the latest Google Directory update that has just happened, the links on DMOZ got updated on the Google servers which was probably enough to push the site back up to its old position.
I doubt the IP change made a difference.
Once all traffic has stopped on the old hosting and your stats indicate that Googlebot is hitting the new IP address, then you are safe to switch off the old hosting. In case anyone's wondering, there is no problem with duplicate content because the domain name is the same, so Googlebot (and other spiders) only see it as one site.
Two things I did notice that negatively affected our competitors with this update are:
1. Non-focused reciprocal linking (i.e. those competiors of ours who linked to any and every site that asked, regardless if it matched their subject matter).
2. Prolific "paid links" from non-related sites (i.e. a couple of our competiors who were buying PR from completely unrelated sites went MIA....one also went from a PR7 to a PR5, which was probably a result of PR no longer being passed from a site he purchased link(s) from).
I had purchased a sitewide link from a related site with thousands of indexed pages, my site was #1 for a keyphrase having thousands of searches every day, and the site that I purchased links on was among the top 10, I have renewed the links as I am atleast getting a little traffic from that site, with the new update, the site on which I purchased links has raised in the rankings.
Wow, sounds like a method to get a competitor's ranking down while bringing your's up - sell sitewide link to lower PR sites.
We moved one of our sites (PR6 high with 25000+ pages of rich content) to another server with different IP just 7 days ago and it seems that nothing bad has happened so far. The site is ranked on top10 for a very competitive keyword (20+ million results) and today it just gained 2 more positions. The site is still available on the old dedicated IP also and we will be waiting for another 7-10 days before we switch off that server.
Just my 2 cents of recent experience.