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In last 12 months I had very constant Google positions for 2 main keywords. In UK and Europe it was 1st and 2nd place and for US it was 3rd place for both keywords. I used external tools to check positions.

2 days after I migrated site to new server both keywords dropped for 1 place. Now it is 3rd place for UK and Europe (most countries) and 4th place for US. It has been 14 days since migration and it is still the same.

Do you think it is just coincidence that I lost 1 position in just 2 days after I migrated the site to new sharing host?

Time spent downloading a page is 650ms which is fine. I am worried if position drop is due bad neighborhoods. Another reason could be that if my current site IP was previously allocated to another site in the past with bad reputation.

So based on your experiences how soon does site migration to new server reflect SEO?

  • Your SERP placements are probably nothing more than changes in the search climate. If Google does not like your neighborhood, you will know fairly quickly and the results will be unambiguous. You will know because it will be clear. – closetnoc Apr 9 '16 at 1:04
  • @Macraze Host and registrar quality counts a lot toward search performance. Some hosts and registrars are so permissive that the a sites trust rank takes a hit. I always tell people that hosting is sooooooo cheap - do not cheap out! Spend the buck or two more and do yourself a favor. I am not sure if this is what is happening in your case, however, it is all too common for so many. – closetnoc Apr 10 '16 at 2:59
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Google ranking is based on domain name and metrics pulled from your site at the time of the indexing. You will probably find that it is a coincidence the rank reduced 2 days after you changed servers. Google doesn't depend entirely on IP address as many sites are hosted on shared IP addresses and one bad seed could ruin potentially thousands of small sites which can't afford the reduction in page rank.

Your Google ranking doesn't just depend on your own content but also on how many other sites link to your own, the reputation of those linking sites, sites that your site links to, and compared to other sites with similar keywords. In addition long gone are the days that Google depends on the keywords meta tag, these days Google will read that tag but will identify its own keywords on the page and identify for itself if the keywords you specify match what it believes the keywords for the page should be.

In addition load times, old content, etc can all throw your ranking off. Google rewards faster load times and newer more frequently updates sites with higher rakings.

  • Actually, the IP address, the address block, the ASN, etc. is a huge factor. If your site is in a bad neighborhood, the change will be sudden and huge. – closetnoc Apr 9 '16 at 1:01
  • Take a look at support.google.com/webmasters/answer/… and websitehelpers.com/seo/nonrankingfactors.html to give you more information. – Chris Rutherfurd Apr 9 '16 at 1:06
  • I do not need to. I have been privy to some internal Google documents when doing research for network trust analysis where Google was an interested party. They benefited from our work and we benefited from knowing how Google handles business including trust. IP addresses, address blocks, ASNs, blacklists, etc. are huge trust factors. It would be foolish for it not to be. It is a major component of their anti-spam efforts. At least just a couple of years ago anyway. Are you saying you believe everything Google says? – closetnoc Apr 9 '16 at 1:13
  • @closetnoc - Thank you for clearing that up, I was going by what Google told webmasters mattered and what didn't matter but clearly you have information I could not have had access to. I can only go by what I can find but good to know the information you have been able to supply. – Chris Rutherfurd Apr 9 '16 at 2:46
  • That is what drives me nuts. The online SEO stuff is at least half junk. Google contradicts itself even in the same day. I am not criticizing Google, it is just so huge and the search engine has clearly gotten stove piped so that one hand does not always know what the other is doing. Plus, we see the effect of IP address on sites here. Famously and especially with CDNs, though it has been a while, it used to be very common that someone sets up their CDN for static content and their site goes into the crapper the very next day. It is really sad. Webmasters are the best people in the world. – closetnoc Apr 9 '16 at 3:28
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Site migration to newer server may affect your SEO, because of server reputation and server location.

Server Reputation : If your server already hosted many of websites and some of them are doing for spam purpose, or some of sites already got penality from Google, then your site may be perform bad in search result.

Solution - Change your server or Use separate VPS, or Use Dedicated IP address, I don't think it cost so much money. Or contact your Host provider and confirm that you're only on that server if you're using VPS or dedicated server, because now a days many of host provider gives you VPS details, but they run multiple VPS on same server.

Server Location: Google use server location for local SEO, it does not imact too much in SEO, but it slightly does for local query, so I will suggest to use that country server which bring most visitors to your website.

  • I already have Dedicated IP because I have ssl. But this won't help a lot because C class is still the same. Server locations remains the same country. – ernest1a Apr 9 '16 at 7:19
  • The site is not mine, So I can only suggest things. And here is another one, Checkout crawling stats on Google search console, Googlebot may be take some extra time to download your webpage compare to old server. Position can be changed for other reason as well, For example some of links pointing to you is disappear. It can be other reason as well. I just suggest to explore your search console, hope you get some good idea there. – Goyllo Apr 10 '16 at 13:21

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