Does Changing Web Hosting Affect SEO?

Changing your Web host from one to another can have a lot of unintended impacts on your website. A web host change may affect your search ranking i.e. the SEO aspect of your website.

In this article, we will discuss a few important precautions you can take while switching hosts to ensure minimal disruptions to your SEO efforts.

Server location: If the switch results in a server location change from one country to another, it will affect your keyword rankings, especially for local results. Google typically like to rank results considering the proximity to the user. For example, if you sell roses in London, your website will not be useful for someone searching in Ireland or America. So your listing will get to the bottom of the pile in some local results.

To avoid this problem, switch to a server that is close to your business area or market.

Loading times: Google has stated explicitly that loading times will impact a site’s ranking. Fast loading web pages give a better user experience and Google likes websites that provide a good user experience. If you switch from a slow loading server to a fast loading one, your rankings may see a small improvement. But if you move from fast to slow loading severs, you will notice a sizable drop in visitors.

While considering a switch from one host to another, do not let load time be impacted just to save a few dollars.

Uptime: Uptime is another metric that is used by Google to determine your ranking. If your current host suffers from constant downtime, it is good to switch to a more reliable host. With the popularity of cloud hosting, there are no more excuses for web hosting companies to have downtime. Most popular web hosts like HostGator and BlueHost boast of a 99.99% downtime. When making a decision to switch, check your new host’s historical downtime performance.

Apart from affecting your ranking, downtime leads to a bad customer experience.

Neighbourhood: This is one of the most important factors that could disrupt your website. If your current server is hosting a lot of blacklisted IPs or is in a suspicious neighbourhood, like a server farm, your website rankings will plummet. Recovering from such a move is very hard and expensive. So do not move to a cheaper host or downgrade a plan just to save on hosting fees. Check your host’s reputation on webmasters forums to be sure before you buy a new plan.

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