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How can website hosting affect your SEO efforts?

Though Google has actually announced that website hosting isn’t a component of their ranking algorithm, this doesn’t mean that hosting can’t play a huge part in your fight to reach the first page. Though not directly, there are indirect results of bad and good hosting that will affect where your site ends up, so here are 3 points to consider.

1. Server loading speed

Typically, if you pay a standard amount to host your site each month, then you will be placed on what is known as a shared server. Here, your site will be hosted amongst a multitude of others and, if those others are very large sites, then this can slow down your site’s loading speed. In turn, this will damage user experience and cause your average time spent on page and bounce rates to deteriorate. We all know that Google favours user experience greatly in its ranking algorithm and if it sees this kind of behaviour from your visitors, it won’t hesitate to punish you for it.

2. Uptime vs downtime

A natural follow on from an overcrowded server is an increase in your site’s downtime. This means that your site simply becomes inaccessible for short periods at a time. The problem with this is that if Google bots try multiple times to access your site to crawl it and are stopped by this consistent downtime, then they will take this to mean that your site isn’t very active or stable and again drop you in the rankings.

3. Bad neighbourhoods

With very bad luck, it could be that your site is placed alongside one or more other sites that are considered, by Google, to be spam or untrustworthy. In turn, those pages become labelled as such and, because you share a server with them, you are considered linked and can be punished for this.

So what do you do?

If you’re putting a lot of effort into your SEO campaign and are doing everything correct to the best of your knowledge, but still feel like something is holding you back, then it could have something to do with your server.

Bear in mind that, even with 99% uptime, your site will be down for about 7 hours each month, so you need to aim for providers who offer 99.9% as standard. It may be time to speak to your hosting provider and ask them to move your site to another server, or you could pay a bit more each month for a more reliable company or possibly even your own server.

Alternatively, get in touch with us today and we can talk you through the ins and outs of website hosting and help make the best decision for your business.

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