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>And how can you tell what servers others are using?
One way is too compare the ip addresses. If they are the same it is the same server in mosts senses, it does depend on how you define 'server'.
IP addresses being sequential or close do not neccesarily say something about websites being on the same fysical server (machine).
On *nix, one way to get the ip address of example.com is to type
>Do you think you run the risk of being band on Google if you link to too many of the same servers?
It depends again on how you define 'server'. If you mean on the same ip, I don't think you risk getting banned. You may risk not benefitting from the incoming links though.
I meant unix or linux like operating systems, I think the 'host' program is used by most.
You can type the command from the command prompt.
If one of your websites is hosted on one of these operating systems, to try it just login with telnet or ssh and type
I don't think websites sharing ips is a problem (yet), but those that worry about it are probably right that it could be safer to have different ips. I think that if you create an 'artificial' link structure in a network it doesn't matter much of you use different ips or not though, it's going to be easy to detect. The way I see it the main advantage to different ips would have to be the incoming links having more value. I have not seen prove of that yet.
I have been analyzing this Hosting and it's effects over SEO for the past few weeks and I have some of my findings almost ready in the form of an article. Soon, you will find it on one of those SERO Articles websites somewhere. I would have shared the link for the article, but I wonder it would be against the TOS. Probably people can find the link to the article when it's up from my website in the profile.
The overall idea is to see if Web Hosting Really effects Search Engine Rankings and if yes, to what extent and if not, what are the other pros and cons.
Unless things have changed recently, yes you can. They want a reason, but aren't very particular about what it is.