Is Your Hosting Killing Your SEO…?

The hosting of your website is very much like the foundation you build a house upon. There are many different hosting options available, and it is important that you choose the most effective to compliment any search engine optimization efforts you are undertaking. You will find here a guide to the different hosting options available, and which options will work best to increase your exposure within the search engine results.

Free Hosting

Free hosting options can be considered the least effective for search engine optimization efforts. There are many free hosting options you might consider – whether it is having your blog hosted on sites such as Wrodpress, Blogspot, or Typepad or free hosting options offered by the myriad of hosting companies who can be found by searching for the term ‘free hosting’. The parties who have the most to gain from a free hosting arrangement are those offering the free hosting. They get the search traffic and clicks, and will normally place banners a top of your pages where they either advertise their services or sell advertising space to third parties. Search engines do not traditionally rank sites hosted on free hosting plans as there are a number of factors in play. Firstly, there may be literally hundreds of different websites sharing an IP address with your site. Search engines will largely disregard sites that share IP addresses as being independently an authority in relation to specific keywords.

Shared Hosting

Shared hosting can be separated into two distinct categories. The first category is where your site is hosted on a server and shares an IP address with other sites. This first category can be considered the cheapest hosting option available outside of free hosting. Some of the problems noted above can be applied to shared IP address hosting, but it is unlikely that the hosting company will place advertisements on your page. With this category of shared hosting, you must keep in mind that another site that is also using the same server as your site is hosted on, and is using the same IP address as your site may be doing things that will be frowned on by search engines or internet service providers. If your shared IP address is flagged as having conducted some illegal activity (from the point of view of search engines) then there is a strong likelihood your site will be penalized as well. You will have no idea what the other sites sharing your IP address are doing, the nature of their business, or their reputation online. The second shared hosting category is one where your site is hosted on a server but you are assigned your own IP address. This is the preferable option for shared hosting. Many hosting companies offer what is known as cloud or expandable hosting – where as your site grows (and its bandwidth usage grows) the resources available to your site on your shared server grow with it. The important factor here is the IP address. To a search engine, your site will appear independent and stand alone.

Dedicated Hosting

Dedicated hosting can be considered the preferred option in regards to search engine optimization. With dedicated hosting – you will be assigned a named server named according to your domain. So if your site were called MyGreatWebsite.com, your server(s) at your hosting company would be named something very similar to this; NS1.MyGreatWebsite.com and NS2.MyGreatWebsite.com as opposed to a shared hosting named server which would look like this; NS1.YourHostingCompany.com. As well as having a dedicated server, your will have a dedicated IP address that will not be shared with other websites. Search engines like dedicated servers a lot – as it shows an investment and commitment to your domain. It is also worth bearing in mind that if you are looking to attract search engine traffic from America, you should host your site on American based servers. There may be a temptation to use a much cheaper hosting company in a country such as India. This will do nothing to improve your search rankings, and will in effect work against any search engine optimization efforts you might be undertaking.

The Foundations of Your House

As mentioned at the beginning of this article – your hosting can be considered the very foundation your website is built on. If you were building yourself a house – would you look for the cheapest and least reliable options for the foundation of that house? If the answer to that question is ‘yes’ – then you could not expect the house you built on that unreliable foundation to be strong and withstanding. If you build your website on the cheapest and least reliable hosting option – then do not expect your website to perform as you had hoped in regards to search engine optimization either.

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