Whenever you listen to self proclaimed “SEO guru’s” waxing lyrically about SEO, they are always talking about onsite and offsite SEO. The conversation gets sprinkled with acronyms (I’m sure half of which are designed to confuse) and they focus on the fact that onsite SEO is the first step in Search Engine Optimisation.
How is this wrong?
The server that your site is hosted on has more influence on your sites performance than you would initially think. There are a
number of items which need to be checked to ensure that you are getting not only the best value for money, but that it is the best hosting solution to ensure that your site is able to rank well within the search engine results pages (SERPS – see how I threw in that acronym?)
When you host your site you need to check if you are on a dedicated IP or a shared IP. The IP address is :
a numerical label that is assigned to devices participating in a computer network that uses the Internet Protocol for communication between its nodes.
and will look something like : 196.55.562.1
The important thing here is to make sure that you are not sharing your IP with any “bad neighbors”. Bad neighbors can be defined as any website that is practicing black hat SEO techniques, is a porn site or a gambling site.
These sites are not valued by search engine robots and spiders and when you share your IP with them, your site could be penalised at the same time. The best thing to do would be to do a reverse IP look up to see who your neighbors are. A great tool for doing this is
The next step would be to make sure that your IP address has not been listed as spam; a great way to do this is by doing a Blacklist Check. This will help you in working out if your IP address has ever been used for shady doings.
While there is no definitive answer at the moment from anyone at Google or the other search engines; it is not advised that you share your IP with too many different websites. The smaller the neighborhood the better seems to be the general feeling. What’s more if you can arrange it so that the websites you share your IP address with are all similar in terms of the category they fall into, then even better.
Where to host?
Again there has been no definitive answer to the theory that you should host in the country where you intend to do business; but it is the generally accepted norm as far as SEO goes. This line of thinking does make a lot of sense; especially when you think back to neighborhoods : you don’t necessarily want to be sharing your neighborhood with sites that are all in the UK and you are trying to do business in Australia. Although as I said, that is all still up for public debate.