Will Changing Hosts Affect Search Rankings?

A common question in the SEOChat forums is whether moving your site or changing hosts will affect your SEO rankings and position in the serps.

If everything were exactly the same, moving your site between identical servers should not impact your search engine positions if the move is done correctly. But everything is never exactly the same.

Each hosting company has different hardware, networks, versions of server code, and configurations. How quickly your site loads is important. The faster you can make it, and the more reliable your hosting, the higher you will rank. Factors that impact page load time are:

  • Speed of the server
  • Demand on the server (how many sites with how much traffic)
  • Distance from the end user (the person looking for your site)
Using a CDN can greatly speed up your download times by duplicating the most often requested content on your site across multiple servers. Load balancing and failover speeds up your site and also ensures there is no downtime.

Watch Your Downtime

Extended downtime can definitely negatively impact your rankings on Google and other search engines, so choosing a reliable hosting company is essential to your success.

CDNs also provide serious security, which ensure your site is far less likely to get hacked. Lengthy outages recovering from damage hackers do can can largely be avoided.

Be sure to choose a CDN known for security as some focus more on page load speed while others focus on both.

Speed Up Download Time

If you are serious about getting your site to load faster, start with these tips. And do note the links to additional information at the bottom of that post. There are some simple things every site owner should know. For example:
  • Your site should be hosted on a server in the country whose audience you most want to reach. See Server Location as a Local Ranking Factor for details.
  • Other sites on a shared server can negatively impact your search engine positions, so choose carefully and know what other sites are on the same server with you. Use this lookup tool to find out.
How moving your site can impact your search rankings can be a complex question, but here is a good video that explains some of the variables: Video Highlights:
  • Changing servers CAN impact your rankings
  • If your site is still identical, the main concern is other poor quality sites on a shared server
  • Switching between content management systems (between Drupal or Blogger to WordPress for example) will change your URLs and directories; this can definitely cause major issues if not done correctly
  • Be sure to redirect any URLs that change so you don’t lose the value of those incoming links
If you’re not happy with your current hosting company, use this guide to moving your site. One common mistake is to take down your existing site before you’ve tested the new one.

Use a Test Site When Moving

An expert tech should leave your existing site up and load a duplicate copy of it onto the new server. That new copy should be checked over and tested to ensure it is working fine and has no issues BEFORE you re-point the DNS servers to the new location.

Another useful tip is to shorten the caching time on your existing site well before you start the move. This will reduce the amount of time it takes for all your users to see the site at the new location.

Whether changing hosts affects your search rankings will depend upon the quality of the move. If everything is done correctly, there may be a temporary drop in search rankings, but it will quickly recover.

5 SEO Tips For Boosting Your Local Rankings With Perfect Mentions

This recent online marketing technique is the ultimate solution to almost 90% of local business owners who are seeking ways to brand their businesses in the local market and enhance local SEO results without violating any search engine protocols.

Simply put, local citations refer to online mentions of your business name alone or with your address and phone number on local directories, classifieds, blogs, email newsletters, or websites.

These mentions may or may not have any links. If performed strategically and diligently, local citations can add immense value to any business.

Why are local citations powerful?

Several reports and surveys show that local citations play a major role in determining the local SEO ranking of any online site, accounting for a 25% boost in the ranking of most websites.

Types of Local Citations

There are two types of local references – structured and unstructured. Structured local mentions are those that are added to business listing sites, such as local classifieds, review sites, and yellow pages.

Unstructured local references are those which are added to blogs, websites, and government sites. Both structured and unstructured local citations play an essential role in improving your local business rankings in the search engines.

The more times your business gets mentioned, the higher it will rank. You can analyze the patterns with a local citation analysis tool to help you create powerful mentions for optimal results.

1. Know the difference between links and citations

One common mistakes most business owners do is confuse local citations with links. These two are different – citations are basically intended for branding, while links are for conversions.

Citations do not have to carry any link, although links may be added to them, and they are used primarily for increasing online prominence. On the other hand, links are particularly intended for cross-linking other websites with yours.

If you want to fully understand the basics of internet marketing, you can sign up for SEO Training.


2. Make sure all information are correct and use a consistent format

It is important that your SEO citations contain accurate information about your company and that they appear in the same format in all the different business listing sites.

Seeing consistency on your local citations in popular sites will give your target audience an impression of professionalism and committed approach.

3. Avoid duplicate listings

Focus on building identical citations for your business across different listing sites. Remove any duplicate listings of your business on other sites. Having more than one citation showing different addresses, phone numbers, or names can cause uncertainty and affect the credibility of your business.

Perform regular follow ups with the listing sites and update your listing with accurate information or delete duplicate listings to ensure better user experience.

4. Choose the right categories

The key to success for any business is in selecting relevant citations that will lead target customers searching for your products or services straight to your business.

When you incorrectly tag your services or products under the wrong categories, your rankings get hurt. Instead of being visible to people who are searching for your products or services, your target audience only sees your competition.

5. Integrate key information

Incorporate key information such as images, videos, and special offers, to add interest and motivate potential customers to your business. Adding these to your listing brings in more value to your business and creates trust among your target customers.

Video SEO Basics: Infographic by @Shakr

Video is one of the most forgotten aspects of SEO today. We’ve know about the positive effects of incorporating video in your SEO strategy for a long time, but it is still something that a lot of people overlook when trying to rank their sites.

The fact is that video allows you to tap into the second largest search engine (YouTube), helps increase conversion rates, makes your brand stand out in Google search, and make your visitors engage more with your content, both on your site and on social media channels.

The guys over at Shakr, a video ad template startup, created this handy infographic about the 5 most important YouTube SEO tips that will help you rank your YouTube videos in Google SERPs. Have a look:


Featured SEO tool: Video Schema Generator

More on Youtube marketing: