Does Changing Web Hosting Location Affect SEO?
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.
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.
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.
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.