Server migrations “are pretty uneventful for Google systems” so long as everything else stays the same, although Googlebot will readjust how frequently it crawls your site, Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller said on the September 24 edition of #AskGoogleWebmasters.
The question. “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?” asked user @JSAdvertiseMint via Twitter.
The answer. “Server migrations — where you’re just moving from one server to another, while keeping everything else the same — are pretty uneventful for Google systems,” Mueller said. “The important part is really that everything else stays the same: the URLs stay the same, the content stays the same, the CMS stays the same. It’s all the same website, just hosted on a different IP address.”
The caveat. “The only common issue that can come up with a server migration like that is that Googlebot will readjust how frequently it crawls from your website,” Mueller said, explaining that the crawling frequency adjustment takes place automatically.
“The goal is to avoid causing problems on your server through too much crawling. So, when we recognize that your server has changed, our systems will generally throttle back, make sure that your new server can cope with the extra work of Googlebot crawling and then, over time, we’ll increase the speed again to a rate that works well for your server and that helps us to keep your website fresh in the search results.”
Why we should care. If you have to change servers, it’s important to be aware of and prepare for any side effects that migration may have on your rankings and traffic. Although your existing SEO efforts will be preserved, less frequent crawling means that new or updated content may take a while to appear on search results, so you may want to postpone publishing any big post-migration projects until crawling resumes with regular frequency.