Today’s Daily SEO Tip is a step by step guide to keeping a site organic ranking when changing IP address due to moving web hosting or in order to obtain a country specific IP address. Today’s tip was contributed by Ran at Conversion Counts. Enjoy
One of my clients recently had to change their website’s IP address after 6 years [sweating icon]. The client rightfully was concerned what will happen to their organic ranking in the search engines which they spent so many years building up. Below are the steps I took to ensure that their search engine ranking won’t change due to the new IP Address.
1. A copy of the site was installed on the new server and website links were tested including long tail on the test server using a temporary URL
2. We identified when the site is normally visited by the spiders to ensure that the move if possible is actioned afterwards
3. Using web analytics software we identified when the site had the least amount of visitors and conversions (not surprisingly between Friday mid night to Saturday morning)
4. A temporary site maintenance message was placed on the old site (to ensure the site isn’t returning a 404 message during the move)
5. DNS entry was updated to point to new IP address
6. It took 30 minutes for the new DNS settings to take effect and the site was accessible via the domain name
6. We tested the site’s URL including, sub-domains, sub-folders, long tail etc
7. We tested website 3rd part payment gateways
8. The website ranking were not effected negatively
9. The website was inaccessible for only 30 minutes
10. Due to obtaining a new IP address which is country specific, the client’s organic ranking has improved considerably in this territory
Don’t go switching hosts without a sound plan, as downtime for only one day can impact your search rankings for weeks.