Does Changing Web Hosting Location Affect SEO?


SEOChanging the location of your web host can affect your website in several different ways. One of these is SEO and you site’s search engine listing position. Though many believe that location changes only have a minimal effect on a site’s SEO rankings, here are several points that show how the effects can be significant.

Server Location

Google, ever since its inception, has been striving to organize search results based on relevance – one of these being the location of where the search originated. In essence, the results produced by a search in a certain country would prioritize websites located in that country.

Google was initially relying on TLD’s (Top Level Domain) to accomplish this. However, they have also started to use IP addresses to determine the location of the websites. Doing so has improved the quality of search results dramatically (in terms of location). When changing web hosts or hosting locations, it’s best to consider the location of the servers. If your site is focused on a certain country, such as the USA, your host and it’s servers and infrastructure should also be located there as well. If not, your rankings could be affected significantly. If you’re changing to a new host that’s in the same country, then this shouldn’t affect your site, but you’ll also need to consider other factors as well.

Server Quality

When changing to a new host, you’ll need to consider the quality of their servers. This relates not only the physical qualities, but to how they manage their servers as well. If the host has a tendency to crowd their servers with many sites and you’re on a shared server plan, your site’s performance will definitely be affected.

Page Loading Speed

Google does consider the page loading speed when it comes to rankings. If your pages take more than 2 seconds to load, Google will drop your rankings.

When changing web hosts, you’ll need to look at the strengths and weaknesses of the new host carefully. Popular hosts don’t always mean that they’ll provide quality services, although it may look that way. In fact, being too popular can have its disadvantages as they’ll likely be hosting quite a number of sites. Also, if you are considering signing up for a shared hosting account, please think again and reconsider. Being in a shared environment is never a good thing unless budget is a big constraint. If your budget allows, always choose a Linux VPS hosting plan such as our SSD Linux VPS plans, as they will always perform better than shared hosting accounts.

Hosting Plans

If you’re changing to a new host and considering a new hosting plan, this could also affect your site’s SEO, especially if you intend to downgrade for whatever reason. Hosting plans do affect website performance. If you’re moving up in a hosting plan, then there’s a good chance that the move will affect your site positively.

Downtime

Changing site locations can result in downtime if not done properly. This usually happens when a site is waiting for the DNS to propagate, which could take anywhere from 24 to 72 hours. If your site is down during this period, then you can expect that your ranking have already been affected. The best way to prevent this is to have your site still running on the old host while you’re building an exact duplicate on the new host. Once the DNS has been fully propagated, your site will continue to run as if nothing happened.

Changing Website Structure

One of the reasons why you’ll need to create an exact duplicate of your site when moving to a new host is that, Google and other search engines have problems when it comes to changes in website structure. For instance, if you changed your Content Management System and reconfigured your site’s structure, Google may see this as a new site and this will affect your SEO in a negative manner.

If you intend to move your site to a new host, then it’s best that you consider the consequences. The move may affect your site’s SEO positively, but then again, it may not, depending on which host you choose. We, at rosehosting.com have been doing migrations successfully for almost 14 years for thousands of happy customers.

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  • vijay

    vijayvijay

    Author Reply

    Hi,
    Does domain registration location affect seo? i.e when the country which we are targeting differs from country from which we operate?


    • admin

      adminadmin

      Author Reply

      The location of the domain registrar should not affect the search engine optimization for your website.


  • rajdeep

    rajdeeprajdeep

    Author Reply

    It is really a nice and helpful piece of information. I’m happy that you shared this useful info with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.


  • Rick

    RickRick

    Author Reply

    What do you mean by change in cms ?
    I am considering converting site from Php to WordPress… and switching hosts in the process. Would this hurt our SEO?


  • Faturoti Kayode

    Thanks. Just considering migrattion now.


  • Vijay Kumar

    thanks for this detailed article!


  • Paulo Rodrigues

    Hi, congrats for your considerations on hosting, which endorse my guessing…
    But I would still like to have your view on the following:
    (Background)
    Since 2012 I have been running a brazilian marketplace presentesfemininos.com.br (femininegifts in portuguese) and managed to rank #1 in Google for the exact match domain, as well as another couple of related terms. The site has only been hosted in Brazil, in three different shared hostings (which I changed for bad customer service).

    Since 2016 a new responsive version of the site was published, and despite its various enhancements, it dropped to 3rd place (I believe this is due mainly to image poorer quality, as they are now automatically edited the Control Panel by the custormers – while in the first version they were manually edited – plus the introduction of a databank, which also increased the site’s overall processing, increasing the loading time from an average 3.5secs to 5secs).

    (Present Day)

    I have started thinking of migrating again, this time to a Cloud Server, in the hope I would have a considerable gain in speed (Hello, Google) and at the same time a more reliable platform. But I am frankly tired of brazilian service level, and have started considering giving a shot at an American hosting. The point is:

    (The question)

    How do you think the site would fare after all ? Higher server speed X USA hosting for a 100% brazilian focused site – not even translated to english? What would be the monthly cost for such hosting?
    What could I expect in loading time ? (the site has 100Mb in files plus a 1Gb MySQL DB). Bandwidth is an average 20Gb/mo except in Nov-Dec when it peaks 50Gb. Last Jan 17Gb and Feb 12Gb. I have worked its SEO with the help of GTMetrix tool, and learned my present host does not support GZip compression, one of the reasons I have been looking for alternatives.

    Thanks in advance for your consideration of the above !
    Best regards
    Paulo Rodrigues


    • admin

      adminadmin

      Author Reply

      Hi Paulo,

      Thank you for your comment. Our Sales department has already answered your questions via your live chat session.

      If you have more questions, feel free to comment here or contact us again.

      Thanks.


  • rashmi

    rashmirashmi

    Author Reply

    thanks a lot for sharing this article it was very useful to me keep sharing such articles