Effect on SEO when doing a "Total Replace" of a website

Hi All - I need to wipe out an old site that has decent traffic, and replace it with a new site on that same Domain Name, possibly hosted elsewhere, and possibly using WordPress.  Can anyone offer some guidance to minimize the hit on SEO, for example:

* If JUST the site's IP Address changes, as in transferring to a new Hosting Company, will that effect it's SEO?

* Is there a way to tell Google that the site is still "mine", for example, like you can tell Google with a 301 Perm redirect that you have changed Domain Names?

* In general, is the use of WordPress these days going to hurt the SEO?

Any other comments are appreciated before we ReDesign & ReSubmit
via Google Webmaster for another look.

Thanks all!
- Brian
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bleggeeAsked:
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Scott Fell, EE MVEDeveloper & EE ModeratorCommented:
There are so many factors that include your current site.  Just in general... You can do a change of address in webmaster tools https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/83106 and it sounds like you understand the basics https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/83105?hl=en.

 Make sure you 301 old page to new page is the biggest thing.  If there are dynamic links, take the time to program for that.

I don't think simply changing the IP is going to change anything as long as the IP is not on some shared spammy server.  It it is the domain name that is most important.  Make sure you are either using the naked domain or www but not both.   Google suggests using the naked domain.  (http://mysite.com)

> In general, is the use of WordPress these days going to hurt the SEO?
The only thing you need to really watch is your site up.  Keep your WP site safe from hacking.  Don't use default admin locations and really research any plug ins you use.  Keep everything up to date.  The reason is if  you get hacked and end up with spammy or malicious links you go to google jail and recovering is not fast.

Also make sure your content is rich and unique, not copy pasted from another source.

I would study the stats and find the pages that are performing well and think about how you want to change those if at all.

Is this a 10 page site with less than a few thousand uniques or hundred(s) page site with 10K's of unique visits.
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GaryCommented:
As long as the domain is the same and the structure (i.e. the pages still exist) is the same then you have nothing to worry about.
Google indexes by domain name not IP - there could be a hundred domains on the same IP.

with a 301 Perm redirect that you have changed Domain Names
You said the same domain name...?
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bleggeeAuthor Commented:
Yes ... to clarify, we would be using the same Domain Name, just different/newer content and a diff IP address
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GaryCommented:
Then you have nothing to worry about.
Just remember to keep the old domain until the new one (that is the new IP)  has full propagated - usually within 48 hours.
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Jason C. LevineNo oneCommented:
* If JUST the site's IP Address changes, as in transferring to a new Hosting Company, will that effect it's SEO?

Two different things.  IP changes won't affect anything.  However a new hosting company could result in slower response times or (if a shared server) putting on the same IP as a known spam site and those will affect things.  Make sure you are improving the situation, not making it worse.

* Is there a way to tell Google that the site is still "mine", for example, like you can tell Google with a 301 Perm redirect that you have changed Domain Names?

Yes, 301's will do that as will a change of address in Webmaster Tools.  But be prepared for an immediate, temporary drop in Google positioning even so.

* In general, is the use of WordPress these days going to hurt the SEO?

Definitely won't hurt, if anything it will be the opposite.  WordPress tends to force good SEO practices on people who didn't pay much attention to it with older sites.  The level of help depends on how the old site was optimized and how you optimize the new site.  Get Yoast's SEO plugin or All-in-One SEO and tweak away.

Overall, to minimize the SEO hit you need to 301 all existing URLs to their analogues on the new site and make sure the new site has an XML sitemap (the two plugins mentioned above will generate and update the sitemap automatically) and the new sitemap is registered in GWT.  Those two actions should keep traffic at an acceptable level but any time you change the address of a site or even the URL structure, expect to take a hit from Google.  You will recover but it may take a few months.

On a slightly different note, this would be an excellent time to do a deep content review and change any spammy pages or practices, disavow links, etc.  Might as well make as much of a fresh start as possible.
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Scott Fell, EE MVEDeveloper & EE ModeratorCommented:
Good luck! Thanks.
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