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Google’s John Mueller on SEO-Friendly Server Migrations

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Google’s John Mueller on SEO-Friendly Server Migrations

In the latest instalment of the #AskGoogleWebmasters video series, John Mueller addresses a question about server migrations.

Specifically, the question catered around how to maintain SEO while moving from one server to another.

Here is the question that was submitted:

“Our site is changing servers and I’ve had this go disastrously in the past. What do I need to do to ensure SEO is preserved?”

Moving from one server to another is a fairly big event, Mueller admits, but at the same time it can be uneventful as far as Google Search is concerned.

Assuming everything stays the same, and the only thing changing is the server, then Google will not treat the site any different.

Here’s Mueller’s exact quote:

“Server migrations where you’re moving everything from one server to another, while keeping everything else the same, is pretty uneventful for Google’s systems.”

When it comes to preserving SEO during a site migration it’s important that things stay the same. That means the same URLs, same content, and same CMS.

In other words, it should be the exact same website, with the only difference being that it’s hosted on a different IP address.

One Exception

Provided everything stays the same, Google will not treat the site any different than before – with one exception.

The one issue that could come up is Googlebot adjusting how frequently it crawls the site. It does this to avoid causing problems on your server from too much crawling.

Here’s what happens when Google detects a server change:

  • Google’s systems will throttle back
  • Google will make sure the new server can cope with the extra work of Googlebot crawling
  • Googlebot’s crawl speed will eventually increase again at a rate that works best for the server

The above process is fully automated, so there’s no need to make any manual changes. Just let Googlebot do its work.

For more information about server migrations, see Google’s official help document.

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Matt Southern

Lead News Writer at Search Engine Journal

Matt Southern has been the lead news writer at Search Engine Journal since 2013. With a degree in communications, Matt ... [Read full bio]

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