This is a guest post by Borko Simms from WebmasterFormat.com in which he guides us on how to choose a web hosting that’s seo friendly.
As you wade through the endless array of web hosting options and rank them in order of your particular criteria, it’s important to take your potential search engine ranking into account.
You might be wondering how a web host could possibly affect your search engine ranking.
In fact, there are several aspects of your ranking that can be influenced by your chosen host, so it’s important to learn what they are and rate a potential host accordingly.
The most potentially damaging impact a host can have on your search-engine ranking is if your assigned IP address happens to have been previously occupied by a spammer, black-hat SEO practitioner or anyone who has gotten themselves banned or blacklisted from search engines and directories.
This doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it’s a major headache to resolve.
That’s the easiest way to find out if there’s a problem. If your address matches a banned IP, you’ll either need to buy a new address, preferably on a different subnet, or resubmit your site to the search engines, which can take several weeks. The process is cumbersome and slow, and major search engine players like Google are working on ways to eliminate this unfortunate situation.
This almost goes without mentioning, but unscheduled down time is unacceptable in a web host for several reasons, including the fact that if a search engine doesn’t receive a response from your host after a certain number of consecutive attempts, it may remove your site from the index or at least lower its rank.
Odds are, you’ll stay far away from hosts with downtime problems severe enough to affect your search engine ranking. In fact, there are probably very few such hosts out there, at least among the reputable providers.
But if you’re trying to run your site on a shoestring budget, and/or you’re a non-profit organization receiving free service, you might find yourself in a situation where this becomes a factor. There are plenty of other inexpensive hosting providers that are reliable, so there is no reason for you to put up with excessive down time.
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’ve read about Google’s new Caffeine search ranking system. They’ve gone out of their way to explain that speed isn’t everything and that most sites won’t see a drop in their search ranking due to speed alone. However, if you can tell that your site is slow, chances are Google, and soon other search engines, will take notice and rank your site accordingly.
With the advent of cloud web hosting, there’s really no excuse to be saddled with a slow site. Many providers offer affordable cloud hosting packages that will only charge you for the resources utilized by your server. If that’s still overkill, there are plenty of hosts that are fast enough to serve up a simple website. Hosts slow enough to be penalized by Google are by far the exception rather than the rule.
This goes right along with speed. Geotargeting is simply the practice of ensuring that your primary target audience is served the quickest by your website.
Before you select a host, take the time to research your target audience, and try to locate your host as close as possible to that area. If your site is local, such as a service site that serves a small geographic area, select a host that is headquartered within this area or nearby.
Although it usually won’t make a big difference where in the U.S. or E.U. your host is located, as long as it has multiple fast internet links, it can’t hurt to locate the host in close proximity to its primary traffic.
Your web host should not have a significant impact on your search ranking. These tips will help you to minimize any impact it does have or to switch to a new hosting before your rank is negatively affected.