Does Website Hosting Affect Google Rankings

Does Website Hosting Affect Google Rankings

Once you have created a snazzy looking website, it is time to host it on the World Wide Web and you are ready to receive website traffic. But the important aspect to be pondered upon before selecting a web host is Search Engine Optimization or SEO. Most web owners usually overlook this aspect and are more focused upon hosting features, tools and pricing structures. That said, the latter too plays an important role in selecting a web host.



So the question that comes to mind is that “does choosing a web host make a difference in rankings on the search engines?’ Many people tend to believe that a unique IP address is required for a website to rank higher on the search engines. But it is important to take into account the fact that most websites are hosted on shared IPs. On a single computer many servers run side by side and serve different domains from single IPs.



The seemingly “cheap” web hosting companies may also be hosting spammers, scam sites or other banned sites like gambling or porn. Now this could considerably affect your website search engine rankings.



If there is virtual shared IP hosting on the server, and Google penalizes the server and IP due to spamming, then chances are that your website could also be banned or otherwise penalized. In another instance, if your website is housed on a server that is hosting adult content, then Google can ban both websites. Therefore, your website visibility is at risk.



However, this is not always the case as your website need not be banned because of a blacklisted server. Secondly, please note that Google does not ban sites by virtue of their sharing an IP address with a misbehaving site. As Craig Silverstein of Google quotes in a recent interview “Actually, Google handles virtually hosted domains and their links just the same as domains on unique IP addresses. If your ISP does virtual hosting correctly, you’ll never see a difference between the two cases. We do see a small percentage of ISPs every month that misconfigure their virtual hosting, which might account for this persistent misperception.”



The web owner therefore needs to ensure that their website is receiving maximum uptime (up to 99.9% to 100%). Also ensure that your web host carries a clean track record.



Domain selection is another factor that can affect the rankings of your websites on search engines. So for a United Kingdom website, a .uk domain name is suitable and for a top level or global domain, a .com domain is viable. So a UK based cosmetic company would naturally rank higher on the search engines.



URL restructuring is another important aspect as search engines face problems while indexing dynamic URLs. If the URL parameters are acceptable with Google, then your website should easily be indexed with them.



So remember that Google may penalize certain web hosting companies due to content issues and this could negatively affect the performance of your website. Also, prefer individual IP addresses in order to obviate probable index removal. So choose your web host wisely and thereby safeguard your SEO plans.

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