SEO and Web Hosting – The Connection

Search engine optimization is the best way to get consistent traffic to your web site without having to continuously invest money in advertising and other forms of marketing and promotion. By optimizing your web sites properly you can bring in a steady flow of traffic and forget about marketing and other annoying and repetitive aspects of online business. In fact, many webmasters spend the majority of their time trying to find more ways to increase their search engine ranking and traffic. Unfortunately, many webmasters don’t realize they’ve already hurt their chances of being as successful online by choosing the wrong web hosting plan. Contrary to popular belief, there is a solid connection between web hosting and search engine optimization.

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IP Addresses and SEO

For the advanced SEO expert that routinely does link building through various web 2.0 properties, the most obvious aspect of a web hosting plan that has an impact on SEO is the amount of IP addresses given to each webmaster. When search engines index web pages they do so with automated crawlers that index every aspect of the page and site, including the web site’s IP address. If you own a network of web sites and you would like to build a link network using these sites, then you will need to have a separate IP address for each web site. Fortunately, IP addresses are not a major factor for webmasters that don’t own a lot of web sites that are interlinking in the same niche.

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Hosting Reliability and Features

Most people don’t realize that an unreliable hosting network can have a negative impact on a web site’s search engine ranking and site indexing. When your web site is down (as it often may be with unreliable web hosting) search engine robots will be unable to index your new pages. This may have a very negative impact on the amount of pages that are indexed for your site, and how often updated pages are indexed in the search engine results.

A powerful hosting plan will also be able to handle more software installations and tasks, which can be especially useful if you are using automated software for link building or to perform  other mundane tasks involved with SEO.

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The robots.txt file is another overlooked connection between your web hosting plan and your SEO efforts. The robots.txt file is a file that is located on your web server, which dictates how robots (particularly search engine bots) interact with your web site. If the robot.txt file is set to dis-allow all robots then your site will not be able to get ranked by any search engine, leaving you without any form of SEO traffic. Most hosting companies leave this file blank or do not include, so it is important to verify whether or not the robots.txt file is present in the web server that hosts your web site.

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