Does changing servers affect Google rankings?

by Ruchira on January 4, 2013



Google’s search engine algorithms are ever changing, as end users we don’t have any details about how it work, but we do have common set of rules such as “quality content is the key” I strongly believe that, but even if we write quality content still there are some things we doesn’t know for sure. Does changing our web hosting affects our Google rankings?

There isn’t a official answer to this question from Google. And I got affected by this very own problem, About 2 months ago I have decided to move on to new hosting platform from my aging nginx setup. I have spun up a new VPS  everything was setup and moved to new platform. Move didn’t had any downtime or what so ever, result is twice as fast page loading times than before. IP address was changed but it was in the same IP block, and the new system is on the same data center.

About a day or two passed and I have noticed that traffic is on decline, Saturdays and Sundays were usually less busy days for most of web sites and I was expecting traffic to return on Monday as usual. But it didn’t, instead it kept declining about 7% each day and few days later it stabilized. Traffic dropped to by 50% from what i got before,  Top key words got pushed to bottom on the search results and the best possible explanation I have for this is changing servers,

Maybe I’m wrong this might be a coincidence but I’m not alone neither, there are so many reports on the internet with this same problem. I think Google should publish a guide for us detailing these things, aren’t you with me on this? 🙂 If you got affected by the same problem please leave details in comments

I'm Ruchira Sahan and all posts on this blog are completely my thoughts and writings. I love DIY and Technology. So feel free to contact me for anything about this blog and don't forget to add a comment if this blog helped you! Thanks
View all posts by Ruchira

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Asif2BD January 5, 2013 at 11:17 PM

Ruchira, I once read a nice article by Pablo Roman, developer of TNW. But he discussed if you have to keep site down for a while, then using a temporary maintains page and informing search engine about it properly. This article is in Spanish, so you might have to use separate translator or Google Chrome.

For your case here is some of my thoughts

# When you transferred to new server might be server configuration and .htaccess is different here. So check if you are returning different results for some pages. May be number of increase 404 or something.

# Check Permalink structure, if its exactly same.

# Use Google Webmaster tools to analysis detail search traffic impact on those days to get better idea.

# Lastly check other source as SearchEngineLand or SearchEngineJournal for any news about Google Panda update or any update on that exact date, which will be very possible to affect your ranking.

Just my two cent.


2 Ruchira January 6, 2013 at 1:02 AM

Thanks for your comment 🙂 ,

My server migration is completely transparent so downtime at all. I have moved everything to the new server changed the A record to point to new one and its done

Nothing on the file system changed. I just tar from old server then untar on new one 🙂

Yep permalinks structure is the same nothing has changed

Yep Panda was the slightest clue that I got but there arent any reports of changes on the days which I got the impact. Few days after I got this message Big traffic change for top URL
Nov 20, 2012

Search results clicks for********/ have decreased significantly.
The number of clicks that your site receives from Google can change from day to day for a variety of factors, including automatic algorithm updates. However, if you have recently made significant changes to the content or configuration of your site, this change may be an indication that there are problems.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: