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There is some debate that google sometimes bans sites based on ip. If you are placed on a server with bad neighbors you can also be banned. Personally that has never happened to me. I had sites banned on a virtual host and the other domains positions were not affected.
But if it's several domain names pointing to one site, that makes for a situation with duplicate content.
I'm not too sure. Someone correct me if I'm wrong about what I'm about to say:
I used to be afraid of several domain names pointing to the same content, but I'm seeing that Google is able to seperate the different domain names and resolve them to one.
There are many businesses who purchase variants of their domain name, and point them to the same content, and rightly so. For instance, Barnes & Noble.
When Barnes & Noble first rolled out their web site, they underwent a scathing review, mainly because barnesandnoble.com contained too many letters, and if you mistyped one letter you would end up having to retype the domain name all over again. Well, here we are in 2003 and all you have to do is type in bn.com [bn.com] and it redirects(refreshes? I'm not certain how they are doing it) to barnesandnoble.com [barnesandnoble.com].
Another case is when a product has a strong brand identity, but the company has a separate name. For instance, hitbox and websidestory. Type in the two domain names (hitbox.com and websidestory.com) and you arrive at the very same content.
In fact, it is the very same content at the same dns:
Perhaps the most common scenario is if you have a domain, widget.com and the variant, widgets.com pointing to the same content. Google seems to be able to tell them apart and resolve them without presenting duplicate content in the serps.
This is what I've seen. But please, someone correct me if I'm wrong.
Perhaps Google does recognise it when the IPs are the same.
In my case, I have a co-hosted server wit ha few dedicated IPs. One I use for my main site to be able to move it easily if I have to upgrade it to new hardware. Then I have a catchall IP that I use for domains without a major site behind them.
Doe to internal reasonis though, I had some alternate domains to my main site on the second IP. Pointing at teh same folder, serving from the same computer but two different IPs. Recently I fund the second DOMAIN on PR 0 despite all its pages beeing indexed.
Interesting observation: if you check indexed pages in Google for one of the parked URLs you could get a list of links, not cached pages, with "similar page" written underneath. This means somebody has typed one of the parked URLs, entered the site, looked around and always had the parked URL in the address field of the browser even though that URL has no files.
Don't know how Google was able to catch those links because they don't exist anywhere. The only way that I can think of is that the surfer who entered the site through a parked URL had the Google toolbar.
Would be interesting to hear other peoples' experience with parked URLs too.
I really believe banning just an IP is likely shallow. Just because one site is wrong does it make them all - wrong. I am still digging around for this post... to confirm I am right. Point is I don't think they ban just an IP
However, it is smart to host your sites all on different servers/IPs and alter your contact information. In my own research I have found that altering whois contact information makes a difference in the attention I get from SE.