What is SEO hosting and why should you be using it?
There are some things that are obvious when it comes to understanding Google’s algorithms and ranking factors – the content needs to be high quality and relevant, the sites source code needs to be proper and you need really good back links. But one of the things that aren’t obvious is the importance of your web host.
Your choice of web hosting service, or hosting provider, has a greater effect on your Google ranking than you might think. First and foremost, technology is important. That your site won’t be hacked, and its ease of use and loading time, has become more and more important when it comes to ranking at Google. Second of all, Google is by nature suspicious of networks and constellations of sites which links to each other. This can be a problem for many site owners. Google doesn’t easily tolerate those who use so called “link farms” and won’t hesitate to come down on those whom they suspect of using them. This could put a site owner in somewhat of a clinch:
1. If you’re using a hosting account which is shared with many other sites, you’re at risk of being hosted on an IP which is also the source of spam or even more dubious things. In worst case scenario, this could lead to collective punishment affecting your site even though you haven’t done anything wrong.
2. Even if Google frowns upon cross-linking between sites, there might be legitimate reasons for this kind of linking. Is your site part of a group, a company, a series of international sites or sharing relevant content with similar sites? These might be legitimate reasons for cross-linking, but how can you be sure that Google is aware of this?
What do you do? Well, you could use so called SEO hosting.
How does SEO hosting work
Using SEO hosting offers many advantages, but the main purpose is to convey the idea that you are using several different hosting sites. This is achieved through several methods, but one particular way is to spread different IP classes between different sites.
Usually, one comes across the idea of different A, B and C classes, which all refer to the IP address. Suppose that you have the following address:
This breaks down to:
212 – A class
94 – B class
22 – C class
Very simply put, this means that the more diverse the IP is, the more likely it is that you are using different web hosts and that your sites aren’t part of some kind of link network. So, you could say that the more IP classes your host can provide – the better off you are.
Other advantages of SEO hosting
Hosting your site with a provider of SEO hosting offers you more than a few advantages:
Different IP addresses
We have already discussed this but, again, it gives the appearance of your sites being hosted by different providers. It’s also easier to obtain “unique” (non shared) IP:s at a provider of SEO hosting. It has been known for a long time that this sends a signal to Google that suggests “quality”.
Instead of using several different web hosts, you’ll be administering everything from one single control panel. Currently, you might be using one of several panels – Cpanel, Kloxo, Atomia, Direct Admin and so on. Do you find it hard keeping track of them all and having to re-learn how to do simple things in different ways? Exactly! It’s a big waste of time that could have been used for better purposes.
Reliability, security and speed
Those who run web sites know how common it is to be exposed to several kinds of attacks. Every other day, you’re forced to perform security updates keeping your server or Joomla/Wordpress-installation safe from malicious code and free of vulnerabilities. If you’re using SEO hosting, you’ll in 99% of the cases be hosting all your material on a single server which drastically simplifies administration. If you’re also using a, so called, “managed server”, things will be even simpler. Open a support ticket and you’ll get assistance. It can’t get much better than that. It also makes it harder for competitors to find out exactly what you own and what you use your sites for. Why should you hand other people information on a silver platter? Keep your SEO secrets to yourself.
Geography – local och global SEO
As I mentioned above, the main purpose of SEO hosting is to give the appearance of:
Your site being hosted by different providers and making linking between them seem natural. Sure, you could use these solutions to circumvent Google’s rules against so called link networks, but that’s not what we’re getting at here. If you want to learn more about that, then you’ll just have to read other blogs.
It’s a known fact that you’ll gain from having your hosting close to your visitors. This is especially important if you’re doing local SEO. If you’re doing global SEO – providing a certain site in different languages at different domains (.dk, .se, .uk and so on) – you’ll probably also want an IP tied to the country of the people your site is geared towards. If you offer a gaming site, it might be available in different languages and might also need to keep jurisdiction in mind. And if you have a fashion site with a defined geographical target, there are other things to keep in mind.
It’s a no-brainer – for most people
If you manage a site for a small firm or perhaps a private blog, you probably won’t need these kinds of services. But if you’re part of that group of webmasters and Internet marketers who are responsible for several sites, you should consider SEO hosting.
About the author
Johannes Berg is a long time Swedish webmaster and seo consultant working for sites like spelzonen.com and blogs about google and seo on sökoptimering.se