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SportsGuy 22nd January 2007 08:07 AM

Moving Servers To New Country - Ranking Issues?
*I have posted this same thread in another forum (not at this site) where I gather trusted feedback. Since I trust the advice of many here, I felt it prudent to ask here as well as this is directly related to my daily business*


Alright - time for some feedback from this fine community on this point.

We are about to move our e-commerce "stuff" to our UK office.

Here's a baseline rundown of things:

1 - the servers are moving, so the content on them is going too - all of it - even the non-e-comm stuff for this site I'm told

2 - this site ranks well for competitive phrases in now

3 - it's a North American facing product and will remain so even after the move

4 - it's a .com and will remain so after the move

So, basically, my concern is that moving everything physically to the UK will affect our organic rankings in a negative way.

Our goal is to move all e-comm related functions to our UK office.

My personal concern is that any rankings we currently enjoy will be degraded by basing NA-facing content in the UK, and future efforts at optimization and rankings will be hurt because, again, it's located in the UK but targeting North Americans.

Help me understand the issues here gang and build my case internally - either way. If it's a non issue, great. If it will be an issue, I'm totally cool pulling the cord to brake the train, as it were...

Logan 22nd January 2007 09:05 AM

I'm reminded of the saying, if its not broken don't fix it :)

Country location of your hosting server does play a role with geo targeting (i.e. if your site is listed in .com vs While there are other factors as well, such as the domain name, content and links I believe ... I would change one of the known variables which conflicts with your target audience. That said, if the change is made you may be just fine ... but I would sleep as well at night as things do change and geo location has become important over the years and that may continue to change in that directions depending on what happens with local search and search development in general over the coming years. I wouldn't do it because of the 'potential' long term (think 10+ years) effects and the critical nature based on your target market.

SportsGuy 22nd January 2007 09:31 AM

You brought up a good point - and one I should clarify:

We're not "geo-targeting" with this product, as such. We don't seek individuals by location, just individuals who want this product in NORTH AMERICA.

To me, that is not geo-targeting, but I might be splitting a hair there - not sure...

Perhaps my solution is to see if the e-comm components can reside in the UK, but the actual articles/content form the main site can remain here in North America?

See, if I could even see us moving the whole thing back in 2 -3 years, I wouldn't worry so much. BUT, so much can change in that time that a move like this could frag the viability of the site in the North American organic results. :(

I HATE "business reasons" for needing to make changes like this... :( I know why we're doing it, and as a (small) owner in the company I agree with the thinking, but as the guy charged with all things SEM, it poses problems for me...

incrediblehelp 23rd January 2007 10:48 PM

I have just seen to many websites hurt when this move is made. I always advise to clients to host in the country that is most important for them to rank on.

I think with enough backlinks from TLD domains of your targeted country it may not matter. But we are talking many, many backlinks for this not to matter.

I think this is especially important when targeting Uk or Canada.

SportsGuy 24th January 2007 08:24 AM

Well, according to yahoo, there are about 1500 inbound links (not that volume really counts for much in the search world these days). That's a result of the site being about 4 years old now, and was spun off a site that is now 12 years old. :)

Since the move is happening regardless, I'm in "mitigation" mode now... ;)

Logan 24th January 2007 11:10 AM

Hold your .... :beg:

Some times that's reality and why you get paid the big bucks to sweat it out while sleeping at night. Let us know how it goes, I'm sure it'll be helpful to understand better based on what does happen. I think you will be okay, but always best to take the option with the lowest possibility of causing problems with a businesses rankings (especially when they depend on 'em).

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