Site lost google search rankings after moving hosts and relaunching
March 15, 2016 11:28 AM   Subscribe

This site is for a very small niche manufacturing company, so not a lot of competition. Switched hosting from a small private compnay to Siteground and relaunched fresh new updated version of the old site. Previous to the switch - all relevant keyword searches returned this website within the top 5-10. Google image searches resulted in tons of images for this site. Now nothing is returned with any of the searches. At all. Installed SEO plugin, followed all suggestions found on the internet, nothing has helped. Please - any advice is greatly appreciated!
posted by slowtree to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
One SEO trick is to find a site with a high ranking and to buy the URL from the current owner. Then move the URL to a different host and set it up to have links to the site you're trying to pimp. I've had an SEO vulture offer to buy my URL.

So I'm not surprised to see that Google caught on to this trick and is penalizing people who do it. Unfortunately, to Google your hosting change looked exactly like this SEO trick, so you're being penalized for it.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 11:35 AM on March 15, 2016

Just a few things to check:

1. Check that DOMAIN/robots.txt does not have a disallow on /
2. Check in the meta tags for the site or "view source" that there is nothing saying (noindex) or (noindex, nofollow)
3. Have the page URLs changed? If so, you'll want to set up 301-redirects on the old pages to point them to the new ones if you haven't already. How you'd do this depends on what the site is actually built with.
4. Has the domain itself changed? If so you'll probably want to hop onto Google Webmaster Tools and file a "change of address" - you'll need to verify / validate the old URL and the new one, and then follow the instructions to refer all old traffic to the new site.

I do this sort of thing for a living - if you want to MeMail me any specifics on the site to have a fresh pair of eyes take a look, please feel free.
posted by Blue_thing at 11:46 AM on March 15, 2016 [4 favorites]

Did you keep the same domain name?

How much time has passed since the change?
posted by Mo Nickels at 11:46 AM on March 15, 2016 [2 favorites]

When you look in webmaster tools, are all or most of the pages indexed? Are you getting crawl errors? Webmaster tools should probably be your first stop for troubleshooting and seeing what is happening.
posted by Bella Sebastian at 1:00 PM on March 15, 2016 [2 favorites]

Thanks so much for the replies. I MeMailed you Blue_thing. Mo Nickels - same domain name just transferred it to the new host, its been about 3 months. Bella Sebastian - looks like no crawl errors.
posted by slowtree at 9:42 AM on March 16, 2016

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