Anyone who wants to optimize a site for search engines knows that it is necessary to follow best practices, such as having a friendly code, publishing quality content and gaining relevant links. But what about hosting? Can it influence the positioning of your site?
The answer is yes. While good hosting cannot guarantee good positions for your site, bad hosting will certainly negatively influence your ranking on Google, Bing, and other search engines. That’s why it’s so important to choose a good company when it comes to hosting your site.
In this article, we will explain the relationship between SEO and hosting and cite which aspects in this service are critical to the positioning of your website on the internet.
This is one of the factors of the hosting that most impacts the SEO of a site: the availability time. Also called uptime, it indicates how long the server in your hosting is running uninterrupted. The higher this number, the longer your site is available to users.
A site that lives off the air, or has instabilities, not only generates frustration for its visitors but negatively affects the SEO of the site, which results in poor ranking in search engines. It is not uncommon for a well-positioned site, after a downtime, to drop its position. This placement usually comes back, but if your site falls often, you will always be at a disadvantage.
The best hosting companies guarantee a minimum of 99.9% uptime (or availability). But keep an eye out, to ensure that the hosting is really stable. The tool like Pingdom is a great solution to monitor the availability of your site.
Google has already made it clear that site speed is a factor of ranking. Therefore, to be well positioned, it is imperative to have an optimized website that load quickly. Among the actions that can be taken to improve the loading of pages is the use of a CDN, the use of cache and the optimization of the images of the site, all very important.
What not everyone knows is that another factor contributes to the speed of loading a website: hosting. Each time a user accesses a page on a website, various hosting features are used, such as processing and memory. Therefore, the greater the traffic of this site, the greater the volume of resources it will consume from the server.
Insufficient hosting will leave your site slow, and even inaccessible to users, negatively influencing the ranking of your site. Optimize your website and choose well your hosting, so that it does not harm your SEO.
The greater vulnerability of your site, the greater the chance of it being invaded by hackers or infected by malware that can make your site slow, unstable and even unavailable. In addition, you still run the risk of having your site inserted into a blacklist, without even being aware of it. Situations like these are quite detrimental to the SEO of your website, so it is critical to invest in security.
Part of this work is the responsibility of the site owner, who must follow a maintenance routine. It should include, among other things, the updating of plugins and systems, whose loopholes are often used by the invaders. Another part is the responsibility of the hosting company, which must monitor and manage its servers in order to avoid and/or mitigate attacks and intrusions that could harm its customers. It is important to note that dedicated servers (and some VPS‘s) must be managed by the client, who is responsible for their security.
So before choosing your hosting, make sure it is safe. If you want to be even more cautious, use external tools that protect your site from vulnerabilities.
HTTPS / SSL
Google has stated that the SSL certificate now counts as a ranking factor in search results. Although not having a great weight in SEO, the tendency is that it becomes increasingly important in a website. After all, this is an initiative of Google itself (and other companies) to make the internet safer.
Because the implementation of SSL on a site needs to go through hosting, make sure that your plan allows for the installation of a security certificate. Or better yet, if you allow the use of a free certificate, such as Let’s Encrypt. As an SSL costs on average $ 200 per year, these savings can cover the costs of your hosting. And from the break, you still ensure the security of your site.
Although not a determining factor, the location of the server where your site is hosted may have some influence on your SEO, depending on the audience you are trying to reach. In this sense, a site hosted in India with the same characteristics of a site hosted abroad could have an advantage in the ranking for users in India, because the server is geographically closer to the audience.
This does not mean that you should not hire a hosting abroad, nor migrate your site to a hosting in India. As Google itself says, this factor has little importance in ranking. The reason for the low importance is due to the fact that it is increasingly common to host in countries where the data center infrastructure is superior (as in the United States) and also by the increasing use of content distribution networks (CDNs).
Another aspect related to server location is the speed of response for users. The closer users are to the server, the faster the response will be. We are talking about milliseconds, which do not interfere with most sites, but that make the difference in sites with high volume of access.
Type of hosting services
A shared hosting is divided by hundreds of clients. So if your site is in this type of hosting, you run the risk of having one or more “neighbors” who use the hosting to practice spam, phishing, and other such actions. Although minimal, there is a risk that your site will be compromised in ranking by sharing the same server (and IP address). As Matt Cutts himself said that this is rare, but it’s not impossible to happen.
Fortunately, most hosting companies monitor their servers in order to avoid and combat this practice. But there are still companies that are not careful and allow any customer to use their hosting. So when hiring a company, avoid those that do not take this issue seriously. Remember: a good reputation is critical to the SEO of your website.
As we have seen, hosting plays an important role in the SEO of your website. Availability, speed, security, and location are just a few aspects of a web host that can impact the SEO of your site. And remember, even if a hosting cannot guarantee the ranking of a site in the search engines, it can negatively affect its positioning, it is not serious, stable and reliable.