According to Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller, during the September 24 edition of #AskGoogleWebmasters, server migrations “are pretty uneventful for Google systems” so long as everything remains the same, even though Googlebot will readjust how often it crawls your site.
Twitter user @JSAdvertiseMint asked: “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?”
“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 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.”
If you do change servers, make sure you know about and be prepared for any side effects that migration may have on your rankings and traffic. Your SEO efforts won’t be changed during the migration, but because your site won’t be crawled as often, new or updated content may time more time to appear on search results. In this case, make sure you hold off publishing any big projects until crawling resumes with regular frequency after migration.