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I'm starting a web design company and I understand through research that changing the hosting company for a customer will have minimal effect on the SEO of the domain (provided it is still the same country and at least as fast etc.).

However, if I aquire a new customer that is currently hosting an old site at, let's say, godaddy. I don't want to host their files at my VPS - I want to set up a fresh site at my VPS and when ready we change the name servers to my VPS.

This will lead not only to I.P. adress is new, but also that the content of the website is new. I don't want to migrate their current old site at my VPS for any period.

Is Google smart enough to understand that this customer have a new web design company and will keep the current rankings on google or does my customer risk losing ranking on google by changing.

In other words: (From a SEO perspective) is migrating to my VPS with new website content, the same as just redesigning the current website on their current hosting company?

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  • It feels like you have three questions here - changing hosting, changing design and changing content. Content is the main one which may impact your results (positively as well as negatively). If the content involves new URLs, make sure the old ones redirect to the new pages. Theoretically, a design change shouldn't make much difference, though a design with improved Lighthouse scores may have some benefit.
    – RichardB
    Commented Apr 25 at 19:12

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According to Google, the answer is " minimal impact ". The main thing Google looks at is the website name.

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    "According to Google" indicates that you either found a reference that somebody from Google wrote, or you search on Google and found this answer. The former would give me a lot more confidence in your answer than the latter. In either case, it would be good to link to your reference. Commented Apr 25 at 17:08
  • I'm also not sure what you mean by "The main thing Google looks at is the website name." Do you mean that the name of the website is the most important factor in SEO, or do you mean that when you changing and design, keeping the domain name the same is the important bit? Commented Apr 25 at 17:11
  • I answered your question because I had the same thought when I changed my host and, of course, my IP address. I read this answer on the Web.dev help pages, but I can't remember the person's name or the exact location. Take my answer for what it's worth. Commented Apr 25 at 20:05
  • I'm highly skeptical of this answer. Google looks at a lot more then just the website name for a start. At minimum Google takes note of the change and slows the crawl rate (developers.google.com/search/docs/crawling-indexing/…). If the content is in new URLs you will need to set up redirects, and this will also have a slightly negative affect. (If the URLs are the same, the actual location on disk is irrelevant)
    – davidgo
    Commented Apr 28 at 2:51

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