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Dramatic SEO ranking drop using Webflow hosting


#1

Hi,

I’ve recently changed over a large client website to webflow CMS hosting but seen a dramatic drop in SEO rankings.

Now, I’m aware that any new website will see some changes and fluxes but it seems like a nose dive.

All titles/meta data has remained the same and semantically, code has improved.

To be clear, I’m not blaming webflow. But I do ask, could going from UK dedicated server hosting to “global” hosting cause this?

Side note: The website used to have plenty images on “Google Images” which have since dropped off (of course due to CDN hosting) could this be the cause?

The client currently doesn’t do much/any offpage SEO but this drop is concerning

Any advice would be appreciated.


#2

Contact support directly with this one, and see what advice they can offer. Maybe there’s another direction.


#3

When did you moved the website to Webflow? And you said that all titles/meta data has remained the same and semantically, but is also the ulr-structure still the same?


#4

It has been roughly 4 weeks now. Yes all titles/metas and URLS are exactly the same.

The only difference is the previous pages used to be “.cfm” but i’ve added a wildcard 301 redirect and all other redirects for all these URL’s


#5

Actually, four weeks is too short to be able to say whether moving the website was a wrong choice.

By changing the server, the website has started using new IP numbers, which has consequences for the ranking. But when moving to faster servers and servers around the world (which is the case with Webflow), the ranking will certainly be good or even better. So wait and see.

When I search in Google on the url I can see that all pages are indexed. The lower ranking may indeed have been caused by the modified url of the images.

Also, I do not know how long the website was offline during the migration to Webflow? If this was ‘long’ and Google tried to index the website at that time, it also had consequences.

My advice is to wait a little longer. The indexation is going to be well again soon…


#6

I appreciate your reply bud.

I will indeed wait 1 more week but currently some keywords are in a nosedive.

There are +25 new web pages all optimised well so very confused & there was no downtime as it instant.

I’m praying the new IP isn’t the cause of this.


#7

Hey @derrick.dk ,

Can I ask what SEO software you are using from the screenshot above?


#8

It seems that url changes are a big deal, so it isn’t really the hosting platform but the url changes. Of course, because webflow doesn’t serve pages with a .cfm extension it will be tricky to replicate that. Also, according to the article, 301 redirects don’t make up for this.

see:


#9

AuthorityLabs - It’s $99 a month.


#10

I think that going back to the old situation will no longer solve the problem.

Switching to a new server and changing the URLs like @pigeonflight says, causes a decrease. It just takes longer than four weeks before the website is back on the old level


#11

Thanks for the info.

Is it better than mozpro? or somehow different? Thinking of signing up to some one of them soon…


#12

Honestly, I’ve never tried others. Picked this one based on price, easy white labelling etc


#13

k, thanks for letting me know


#14

I agree, I’ve done a few webmaster changes, It appears Google did not index the additional 25+ pages so hopefully this will react and improve in the next few weeks.


#15

Authority Labs is a good product. We use it ourselves… as well a MozPro - and others.


#16

Some may not realize… the dot cfm extension is Cold Fusion.
Comparable to PHP or HTML.

The resulting output is still html.

The dot php or dot cfm extension simple instructs the server as to what interpretive language to use - on the server.

(Though the default on servers)… html is also an interpretive language.


#17

Definitely going from UK-dedicated hosting to global hosting can cause this to happen.

If country targeting has been set in Google Search Console, Google will use that to determine your country targeting, regardless of I.P address. If country targeting has not been set, Google will fall back to I.P address.

My guess is that you did not have targeting set in GSC, so Google was getting your country targeting from the old site’s UK I.P address. When you moved to Webflow hosting, which is US-based, Google automatically switched your targeting to US, thus your drop in rankings — Google now thinks your site is US-targeted instead of UK-targeted.

To fix it, add the site as a property in GSC and set the country targeting to UK. If you’ve already done all that, then possibly it’s something to do with redirects - did you move from http to https, or was the site already on https before you switched?


#18

I did a Specialization in SEO and part of the problem is that when you change a website Google will not transfer the whole rank authority of the old site to the new website so you will always lose part of it. So it is recommended to never change to a new website in the high season of the client.

Also, I recommend you to use screaming frog, a free tool, to check if all the metadata is in place.

Another thing is that Google penalizes you because of the speed so if your new website is slower than the old one it may also affect your ranking. This is a good article in Moz about how to improve your speed performance.

And of course what @CircleWorks suggest you is very important too.

There are other many things to check but these ones can be a good start.

Hope this will help you. :blush:


#19

You are certainly correct. I tinkered with GSC, indexed 40 new pages and targeted the UK.

image

The good news is our main keyword jumped back up to rank 2. Some others have fallen lower (e.g from 9-14)

It seems GSC has helped. I’ll closley moniter over the next week or so

P.S - I switched from Authority Labs to Serpbook, the price is almost half…


#20

Thank you.

The rank authority information is interesting. I never knew this…

I have indeed spent hours optimising images after the drop and removed 3mb of the load - It may have helped but we’ll see in a week or so.