Google Says Changing Website Hosting Location Impacts SEO
Website migration SEO sometimes involves changing a site’s hosting provider to a different one located elsewhere. But according to Google, doing so can have a big impact on website SEO rankings. This issue was covered in the most recent video instalment of the Ask Googlebot YouTube series.
A person asked John Mueller, Google’s Search Advocate, if migrating a website’s hosting location could impact search rankings – for instance, if an Australian website targeting Australian audiences migrated its hosting location from Australia to the US.
What Happens Next After Changing Website Hosting Location
In his response, Mueller said that following a hosting relocation, there would be some adjustments in how Google treats a site.
Google slows down on crawling
Mueller explained that the most significant difference SEOs might expect to notice after changing website hosts is that Google slows down on crawling. The slowdown happens because Google wants to make sure that they are not causing any issues by crawling the website too often.
If the search engine’s system thinks that there will be no issues with crawling a bit faster, it will speed up again. The slowness of Google’s crawlers is inevitable no matter the type of hosting change SEOs make. So, it does not matter if one switches to a different provider or moves it to another country; Google will always be cautious about how much it crawls the website.
It affects the website’s loading time
Changing the website hosting’s location can affect the site’s loading speed for its users, especially if the change is done on a larger geographic scale. Because of computer networking and physics, it can take longer for a user situated farther away to reach the server.
For instance, when a website is hosted on a server that is physically closer to its target audience, the site visitors may experience an improved user experience. Likewise, a slower user experience might happen by moving the website hosting to a farther location. Therefore, website SEO experts should think about the change’s impact on the speed and user experience.
Host the Website in Different Locations
To avoid negatively impacting a website’s loading time, Mueller advises SEOs to host it on servers in several locations. By doing so, they can make sure that their site is as close as possible to their target audience. They can make good use of the content delivery networks (CDNs) to accomplish this. Some websites can easily host their website in several locations, too, depending on the hosting service they are using. He also said that Google is fine with this type of configuration.
Website Host Location Not Used for Geotargeting
A website host’s location is not utilised for geotargeting. As a result, the search results in a certain geographic area are not going to change if the site owner changes website hosts. If SEOs want to target audiences in a certain location, Mueller suggests using the appropriate setting in Google Search Console or the country-code top-level domain.
To summarise, changing a website host’s location has the potential to affect crawling and load time. But when it comes to geotargeting, site owners do not have to worry about any SEO impact.
Changing Website Host Providers
SEOs must choose a server to host their website for it to be available online. They can also turn to web hosting companies that offer servers. Some people switch web hosting providers on a regular basis for a variety of reasons.
Some are simply unhappy with the speed or quality of the content network distribution systems. Others find out that they can get the same level of service at a lower cost or with more flexible payment terms.
Below are the steps that you should include in your SEO checklist for website migration.
Step 1: Find a new web hosting provider
One should take some time to research web hosts before switching services. They should check out other hosting companies’ prices, terms and server configurations, as well as their CDN. SEOs may change hosting services at some point in the future; therefore, it’s important that they register their domain with a third-party provider so that when they move host providers, the domain is preserved.
Step 2: Find and download the website
The next stage is to figure out where the old host stored the website. Furthermore, since the site may be utilising additional databases, one must make sure that they look for backup directories as well.
Step 3: Export the website database
If the website uses extra databases to store visitor data or manage forms, as many websites do these days, SEOs will need to acquire and export them. Depending on the database, the procedure may vary; therefore, it’s crucial that SEOs contact their previous hosting company for assistance.
Step 4: Upload the website and import the database
As with the export, site owners will need to negotiate the specifics with their host. It’s really not difficult regardless of whatever tools are employed, and it’s generally something that hosted service providers handle on their own.
Step 5: Test the website
After the transfer is finished, site owners may begin testing their website. Using a temporary URL is the best approach to do so. They may continue to access their website even if their domain name does not redirect to the new server using this method.
Important things to remember
Once the entire transfer process is finished, SEOs must complete a variety of tasks to bring everything to a close. These are critical activities intended to ensure that previous visitors continue visiting the website and that the site is functioning as planned.
One of the things site owners should do is to let their users know. The downtime should be as brief as possible. Users should barely notice that the site is down. However, a few days’ notice should be given both on the website and social network profiles.
SEOs should also check their server’s uptime on a regular basis for the next few days to ensure everything is functioning properly. It’s critical to detect any problems as soon as possible. Of course, checking the website’s uptime does not mean visiting it every 5 minutes; it simply implies that site owners will need to utilise technology and apps to assist with the process.
Position1SEO Can Help You with Website Development
If you’re looking for an SEO agency that can help develop and handle your website and reduce the downtime during the site migration process while still ranking higher in the search results, then look no further than Position1SEO. We are experts in website migration SEO who can ensure that the whole process goes smoothly.
Our unique SEO process can boost your search rankings and site traffic, ensuring that you reach the right audience. With years of experience in the industry, we know how to get the best results for our clients. So, why not contact position1seo.co.uk today and see how we can help you?