Help! Moving to webafrica reset my SEO

MagicDude4Eva

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Apr 2, 2008
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A few pointers - an outage or server move will not have any SEO impact for an established site.
  • Check your new IP's reputation - senderbase.org is a good starting point. Also check the IP's for any blacklistings multirbl (http://multirbl.valli.org/lookup/) is a good choice here. Especially with shared hosting or bad ASN reputation you will not be able to recover.
  • Check Google Safe Browsing if your domain might have become blacklisted due to following in a listed ASN (or IP)
  • Check that your robots.txt is still correct - during a move this could have caused plenty of pain if all bots are disallowed
  • If you don't have site maps, ensure that they are in robots.txt and are automatically submitted to Google
  • GWMT is your first port of call - check crawl speed, page speed and perhaps scan your site with webpagetest.org. While not obvious, a misconfigured HTTP (i.e. ETAGS on, no caching policies or even overwriting HTTP headers could cause this
  • Ensure that your Google Analytics (GA) account is still properly linked and records traffic

The above should pretty much narrow your problem down quite quickly. I do think it is either a HTTP issue (headers), robots.txt (if crawl-rate dropped) but more likely IP-address issues, provided that your site structure has not changed.

As a quick fix:
  • Regenerate sitemaps and resubmit
  • Pedantically go through GWMT and resolve any soft-404's or 404's by using 410's (SC_GONE) or 301 redirects.

You should have really done the following:
- Set your DNS TTL to 60 minutes
- Have your site provisioned on the new server infrastructure
- Switch A-/C-NAME records to point to new server infrastructure
- Change DNS TTL later on to a more reasonable time

During the DNS propagation (sometimes up to 3 days) some traffic will hit your new server and some traffic your old. This would have avoided any crawl issues altogether. But like I said, downtime would not affect SEO at all - unless your site was down for more than a week and even then you are able to "kickstart" it quite quickly.
 
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