Google on SEO impact of changing website hosting location

Google has addressed the question of whether changing your web hosting provider to a service provider in a new location will affect SEO and search rankings.

This topic is addressed in the latest installment of the Ask Googlebot video series on YouTube.

The following question was submitted to John Mueller, Search Advocate at Google:

“Does migrating website hosting affect SEO? For example, an Australian website (and target audience) migrates its hosting location from Australia to the US.”

In response, Mueller said there will initially be some changes in how Google treats sites following the hosting change.

Does this involve anything that affects search rankings? See his full response in the next section.

What happens to Google when you change where your website is hosted

Google will slow down crawling (at first)

The biggest change you might notice after changing your website host is slower crawls, Mueller said.

This is done to ensure that Google doesn’t cause any problems by crawling the site too often.

Once Google learns that there is nothing wrong with doing so, it will resume monitoring crawling

This happens regardless of your hosting changes, Mueller added. Whether you’re moving to a co-located hosting provider or a new location, Google is careful about how much it crawls your site.

“When it comes to mobile hosting, you may see our systems crawl down initially. Whenever we see a hosting change, we want to make sure it doesn’t cause any problems. So, as a precaution, we tend to automatically Slow down crawling speed.

Over time, once our system can judge that speeding up won’t cause any problems, we’ll speed it up again. This has nothing to do with the type of managed changes you make. It doesn’t matter if you’re moving to a different supplier, or to another country. “

Website load time may be affected

Moving your website hosting to a new location can affect how fast your website loads for users.

If most of your visitors live far away from where your website is hosted, this can result in a noticeably slower user experience.

This, in turn, can affect speed and page experience ranking factors.

Mueller continued:

“One practical effect you might notice is that larger geographic movement affects how fast a website loads for users. Out may take longer to reach a distant server due to physical and computer networking. Depends on it visibility, it can play a role in a site’s speed and page experience ranking factors.”

Possible solution: Host your website in multiple locations

To avoid your website loading time being adversely affected, you may consider hosting your website on servers in multiple locations.

Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) often do this, and depending on the hosting platform you’re using, your site may already be on multiple servers.

Mueller explained:

“Some websites even use servers in many different places in order to get as close as possible to users. Content delivery networks often do this. If you’re using a hosting platform, they probably already do this for you too. This configuration makes sense for Google very good.”

Website server location not used for geolocation

The location of your website host is not used for geolocation.

Therefore, your search results in a specific geographic area will not be affected by changing your website host.

Mueller summed up his response:

“With regards to SEO, the location of the server is not used for geolocation. If you want your site to target users in a specific location, you need to use the country code top-level domain or the appropriate settings in Google Search Console.”

In conclusion, changing the location of your website host can have a temporary impact on crawling and potentially adversely affect load times.

When it comes to geo-targeting, this type of change will not affect SEO.

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Featured Image: Screenshot from YouTube.com/GoogleSearchCentral

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