SEO And Web Hosting: Make Sure Your Host Is Helping, Not Hurting

by BSimms · 33 comments

This is a guest post by Borko Simms from 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.

IP Address

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.

There are several services like Barracuda Central and Spamhaus that maintain databases of banned IP addresses that you can search once you’re given your new IP.

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.

Down Time

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.

Admin Tip: Use a CDN service like MaxCDN to accelerate your website at very affordable rates. Read our article: “How To Speed Up WordPress Blog In 3 Simple Steps“.


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.

Last Words…

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.

Do read: “How to rank high on Google for your targeted country users“.

About BSimms

Borko Simms is contributing author at, place where webmasters can quickly and easily gather all the necessary info to develop and maintain successful websites.

has written 2 superb article(s) on this blog

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Ali Danielle August 24, 2010 at 6:53 pm

thanks for such an useful post spl sharing the links that are able to find the banned IP address

Sarah September 16, 2010 at 12:55 pm

Thanks for this post. I certainly haven’t considered the geographical location of my hosting provider before. I guess it’s one more thing to worry about in this myriad that is trying to get high search rankings… the battle continues! 🙂

Thu Nguyen September 24, 2010 at 1:42 pm

My host, Bluehost, has been experiencing a lot of downtimes and also speed problems so I think I will be switching soon. Perhaps it’s location, perhaps not. Don’t know but it’s always good to see what other options there are out there. This information is good to know plus I wouldn’t want to be penalized just for being sloooowwww. 🙂

Dan Lew September 26, 2010 at 2:36 pm

Great advice there, getting a host that is good for SEO is one of the overlooked things for most internet marketers, for me this is one of the most important, having a dedicated server is also a must!Thanks,Daniel

ADHONYS October 7, 2010 at 9:06 pm

I had a site that disappeared from google search after my server shut me down for two days.
I could not get again my normal visits after that. Hosting server choice shoulf be very importan for all bloggers.

Jay October 9, 2010 at 1:01 pm

These are all important factors and should be on the mind of one who is considering hosting and needs added SEO benefit. Being found in Google is important and can make or break a site.

Nabil January 22, 2011 at 4:47 am

I personally don’t believe that ones SEO gets affected THAT MUCH by one hosting their website outside of the country the website is targeting.

Let’s take me for an example.

I’m Swedish, and create website written in Swedish. But all Swedish web hosts are expensive, so I naturally start thinking of switching to something else that is a bit better – HostGator.

As of today, I’m a customer of theirs and I absolutely love it! Too bad the hosting ends anytime soon and that I can’t afford it. Oh well…

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