Hosting Providers and SEO

As if worrying about keywords and other SEO tactics weren't confusing enough, there's some buzz about whether dedicated IP hosting might improve your search rankings. If so, you need to include this on your list of things to make sure your hosting provider offers.

What's an IP?

Back when cavemen used computers, the only way to get to a website was by typing in its IP address, a string of numbers and periods. The technology has evolved enough that instead of remembering an IP, users can now type a website name instead. You're still navigating to the same address; it just looks prettier.

How Does Hosting Affect IP?

Since the cheapest hosting services are shared, lots of people use them. Shared hosting applies not only to the physical servers which are being used, but also to IP addresses. Several sites which all have different names likely all share the same IP address, if they're all on the same shared server.

How Does IP Affect SEO?

Although Google won't officially admit it, SEO experts suspect that if your site shares an IP address with tons of other sites, then it won't rank as well. This could be because sites with shared hosting tend to load slower and have more downtime, and not just because of the shared IP issue. Until Google clues us in, we won't know for sure; let's just play it safe and assume it's both.

Purchasing a Dedicated IP

You can purchase a dedicated IP on your shared server, but this affects very little performance-wise. Your site will still have the same slow loading speeds typical of shared hosting services, which will not make Google think highly of your site. And even after purchasing a dedicated IP, this doesn't mean you'll be immune from blacklisting which could if any of your shared network neighbors are engaging in shenanigans.

Dedicated Server Hosting

Opting for a dedicated server instead will automatically grant you a dedicated IP address, even if using virtual private server hosting. This makes you, and only you, the responsible party for what happens in your IP 'hood; no more shady neighbors bringing the net worth of your site down with them. Dedicated servers might cost more, but you'll never have to worry that heavy traffic will slow your site down, and you'll have more control over the IP hosting space, not to mention the prestige. Don't forget the glorious prestige.