Will Switching Servers Ruin My Rankings?

Date: December 26th, 2011 | Category: General FAQ

I totally understand why you do not want to have to worry about your listings at the search engines on top of everything else.

The good news is that generally a server move shouldn’t affect your
rankings. I’ve changed servers many, many times over the past eight
years, and it’s never been a problem with the search engines. Even if
your site is down for a day (and there’s no reason why it should be)
it still shouldn’t affect your rankings. There’s a slight chance that
the search engine spider will come crawling during the downtime, but
most of them won’t just give up after one try. If your site is down
for a few days or more, you do run the risk of having the engines
assume your site is gone for good. Be sure to work closely with your
old and new hosts to minimize any downtime. All of my server moves
have been accomplished without any downtime whatsoever.

There’s only one possible glitch to the above scenario, and it’s kind
of a freaky one. I’ve heard reports lately that Google can be very
late to update their own DNS information. This means they can come
crawling to the old site for a while after the move, because they
still think the domain is at the old IP address. When this happens
and there’s no site there for them to crawl, you MAY be removed from
their database. When Google finally updates their DNS info, they will
find your site at the new server, and you should get back into the
database.

Because of this strange quirk, you might want to try to keep your site alive at the old IP for at least a month or so after the move. I
don’t really understand why Google’s DNS should ever be out of date,
but it’s something to keep in mind during your server switch. If you
can’t keep your pages alive on the old server for a while, then all
you can do is hope for the best. Most likely, everything will be
peachy keen. After all, people switch servers all the time with
relatively few problems.

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