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Effect of switching IPs on stability - maintaining rankings



3:23 pm on Aug 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

its become very clear that in certain sectors website stability is an important factor in maintaining rankings within google. Even minor changes to a page can have significant affects on its individual ranking. I am looking after a website that has setout to avoid changes wherever possible to help google nail it as stable. Its currently on an old dedicated server and i can move it to a much higher spec server for the same money. The question being asked is how will the change of IP affect its stability in googles eyes. I wonder if anyone has any thoughts on this. I wonder if anyone who is in a sector where changes can kill pages has moved to a different IP and noticed the same sort of loss in rnakings after a switch, even if only minor shifts but totally coincidental.


3:32 pm on Aug 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

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

You can show the client this post from Matt Cutts:


That reference is available from the Hot Topics thread [webmasterworld.com], which is always pinned to the top of this forum's index page.


3:53 pm on Aug 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Thanks Tedster. I read that as an excellent and text book example of how to move hosts. However it doesn't address my fundamental question of whether or not having the same IP for a length of time is a seen as a sign of stability and in some way coded into the algo and whether it can be detrimental to break that stability. In the same way as google will quite rightly say keeping your pages updated is a good thing and they would be right, but for some sites walking certain tightropes making updates can see their pages negatively affected. I know this is probably an area of debate and some will disagree this is a real cause and affect. Which is why i would like to hear if anyone had a coincidental drop in rankings after changing the ip of a stable site.


4:56 pm on Aug 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

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

I can assure you from many experiences that changing IP addresses is not a sign of instability. Maybe if you changed every week it might raise a flag. Then again, I've never heard such a report. But certainly there's no problem with an occasional change and definitely not the one-time move you are proposing.

For example, one of my clients has a large block of IP Addresses and they shuffle things around for various reasons from time to time. There is literally no effect on their rankings from this.


5:24 pm on Aug 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

We moved a long-term site to a new server/IP in April and everything is better than ever today.

The only dip we saw was because we also changed to a new CMS during the move and every single page on the site had a new filename. A combination of 301's, xml sitemaps, webmaster tool diagnostics, and time got us to better rankings than ever before.


5:28 pm on Aug 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Thanks, just nice to hear other real world experiences.


5:42 pm on Aug 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

I changed hosts at the weekend. Can't imagine an IP chance would affect anything.

I had a couple of forums, so after moving and changing DNS I 302 redirected from the www on the old server to www2 on the new one. Really dangerous stuff there. But in my view the correct way of doing things for users that can write to the server (saves them writing to the wrong server).

Traffic is up so far - nasty routing trouble with old server gone away completely. I'll post back if anything nasty happens.


1:17 am on Aug 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

We had our site on 3 IPs the first year due to growth we didn't expect. We went from shared hosting, to a virtual server, to a dedicated server. We had no problems.

We did leave the old site active for about 48 hours after moving just to make sure our site was found by routers that had our IP address cached and weren't scheduled to do a DNS lookup.


2:40 am on Aug 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

We moved a 8 year old site that has been on the same ip for that entire 8 years a few months ago with zero problems so far.

Just make sure you do your homework, run the ip you are going to through various blacklist checkers...


4:03 am on Aug 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Thanks guys for the feedback. Just to narrow it down a bit. This is one of those sites hit mid-to-backend 2005. From what ive seen those sites seem very sensitive to changes. Sometimes the drop is a short period (seemingly like a checking process is taking place) and then rankings return to exactly where they were.

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