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Is a dedicated server / IP address better for SEO

Is a dedicated server / IP address better for SEO

     
12:36 pm on Sep 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Is having a dedicated server / IP address for your website going to be more beneficial in the long run for getting good rankings in search engines esp Google or is it not that big an issue? Can someone explain the pros and cons of dedicated hosting versus shared hosting in respect to SEO tactics.

thanks

2:01 pm on Sept 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I've read innumerable posts about dedicated IP addresses and, as yet, have not seen a definitive answer.

SEs are imperfect as their SERPs reflect. What makes them less than perfect are imperfect assumptions.

A substantial imperfect assumption would be one that weighs SERPs ranking in favor of dedicated IP addresses over shared IP addresses. That would favor either technical savvy or funding ability over the content/substance of the website itself - and SEs, at least in theory - are supposed to be about locating quality content. There are many very good websites that are found on shared IP addresses.

4:51 pm on Sept 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I am in complete agreement with Webwork that the SE's cannot, should not, and do not value dedicated IP's over shared IP's. As Webwork says, there are plenty of good and well ranking sites on shared IP's, which is all, IMO, you need to know about this issue ... from the perspective of the pure algorythmic assessment.

However, there is another consideration. If your site is on a shared IP with sites that get themselves in trouble with the SE's, your site may suffer. I would not want to be on a shared IP with a nasty site that gets a manual review.

For this reason, and the fact that we have direct experience in this regard, we pay the extra few bucks a month for dedicated IP's, for any site we care about.

5:31 pm on Sept 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Maybe we can keep the discussion/debate alive for a little bit.

Caveman - If I'm not mistaken IP # blocks, not indivdual IP#s, are assigned to hosts. So is there a basis for a SE penalizing a website whose IP # is in close continuity to other "bad IPs", that is anohter IP# in that same IP block?

Since IP#s only run about $1/month in many places I'd have to say that a unique IP address would be an imperfect defense to a bad neighborhood. SE exploit experts deal with domains as disposable commodities so who's to say that IP#s aren't now a similar commodity?

I understand the idea of taking "all reasonable efforts" to distance one's self from a "bad neighborhood" - so get a unique IP is good advice - but would this scenario also make for a possible "bad neighborhood": Just luck of the draw your site, in IP block XXX.123.etc, targets widgets - which happens to be the target market (widgets) of a known SE spammer who sites in the same IP block have been penalized or flagged in some fashion?

Not that SEs are logical but if I was looking for SE spammers or manipulators I'd be looking for a host of signatures. Bad neighborhood was a theory that held some validity for awhile, but effective SE opportunists are always running ahead of the SEs, right? They can't rely on old methods that have been outed. So, the fact that you and I can discuss penalties for "bad neighborhoods" suggests that our friends, the SE opportunists, are now employing strategies that have been adjusted for neighborhood issues?

Perhaps some form of penalty/filter will remain active as it relates to neighborhoods, but in order to be effective I'd say the filtering/searching system - looking for exploitive behavior, would by now have to be looking for:

1) Speed of acquired links.
2) Signature code of sites "giving links" (IBLs show common fingerprint for blog, address book, etc.)
3) Relevancy of IBLs.
4) Other signatures + same IP.
5) Other signatures + same IP block.
6) Targeted keywords (markets)
7) KW stuffing
8) Hidden text
9) Non-public WhoIs + other factors
10) WhoIs compared to actual address database with inconsistencies
11) Date of domain registration
12) Website templates or other design fingerprints
13) All the above + same registrar
14) Hosts with a large IP address turnover
15) etc

I'd say raise all defenses to guilt by association but I'd say that - for a penalty to be applied (with any intelligence) - there would have to be a number of filters that score hits, not just the neighborhood.

So, if you go for the unique IP don't think that will gain you that much insulation.

6:23 pm on Sept 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Webwork I'm a simple guy with a simple approach: Maximize potential; minimize risk; stay on budget. ;-)

So for me personally, the queston of shared IP versus dedicated IP is really very simple: There IS risk, (albeit very minor - I'm guessing less than 1%) that a clean site could encounter a problem. Being on a shared IP next to a nest of nasty sites that fall under a hand inspection is a bad place to be. A busy site inspector at a SE, when slogging through lots of manual checks, may well ban the IP if s/he finds a nasty nest of sites on that IP. Why? Because that's an easy way to deal with the situation.

That makes the question of shared IP versus dedicated IP primarily a business question, not an SEO question: Since the cost of getting a dedicated IP is minimal, I always go for it (now). It's a no brainer; a very cheap insurance policy. I do not intend ever again to open any site of mine to a risk that - while low in probability of occurance - is high in potential damage, for a dollar or two a month. Been there, done that. Doh!

(BTW, if someone can prove to me that this risk is now gone to zero, I'll change my point of view.) ;-)

As for the original poster's question regarding advantages or disadvantages:

Dedicated IP's - Advantages
If there is a difference in how the algo's rank shared versus dedicated IP's, I've never been able to find evidence of it.

I am aware of some work that was done maybe a few years ago now, by a well known SEO-er who found that a substantial majority of well known or highly ranking sites were on dedicated IP's ... but that may simply have been a choice that big sites typically made anyway (no cause and effect, in other words).

The research IMO is inconclusive. There may be an algorythmic advantage to having a dedicated IP. But I see no conclusive evidence of it, and I see evidence to the contrary (some sites on shared IP's do very well).

Dedicated IP's - Disadvantages
There are two disadvantages to getting a dedicated IP:

1) It adds operating cost: Roughly $1-$2/month. Some may not be able to afford this. ;-)

2) There are not enough IP's to go around, so I'm told. The good news: There seem to be plenty of wm's who've never lost a site for the reasons I've discussed, and thus don't mind being on shared IP's. Hehe; may those webmasters forever be my competitors. ;-)

================

C Class Issues
IMO, C class issues are only tangentially related to the core question.

The point about ending up on a shared C block with a nasty nest of sites is valid in terms of defining potential risks tp any site, but the average site owner has minimal control over whether or not s/he happens to end up in a C class with nasty sites (which BTW can occur regardless of whether an IP is shared or dedicated) - unless the site owner also runs substantial server op's.

As for how the SE's are approaching the issue of C class proximity these days, that is a topic that might warrant a new thread all by itself. (Hint, hint.) ;-)

8:23 am on Sept 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for advice guys.

BTW caveman, i am assuming you are based in the US when you talk about how cheap US dedicated hosting is. It's not like that here in the uk. Therefore my other questions to you are:

1 - If i host my site in the US would my site be picked up by Google.co.uk if a user did a search for "widgets" but checked the box that only displays pages from the UK. From my understanding a site needs to be hosted in that country in order to come up in the regional serps? Or if I used a .co.uk domain would that solve the problem?

2 - Can you recommend any good and competitively priced US hosting companies?

Thanks

4:25 pm on Sept 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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zammo, I'm a citizen of the world. :)

As for finding a cheap hosting company in the UK, I guess it depends on what you mean by the word, "cheap."

To me, 2 to 6 per month is cheap. Doesn't take much income to cover that nut. I just did a bit of searching using relavant kw's (to your needs) and found UK based hosting that offered those kinds of prices, with an IP add-on package of 25 per year, or about an extra 2 per month, bringing the total to 4 to 8 per month. Can't do much better than that in the U.S.

We don't get into making specific recommendations on Web hosting companies here (or any other sort of service provider companies for that matter).

But how about you just visit your favorite SE, search with the kw's that fit your needs, and have a look around. I'm forever doing the same thing myself, as one can never have enough good, cheap hosting companies. ;-)

5:09 am on Sept 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

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From my understanding a site needs to be hosted in that country in order to come up in the regional serps?

I've been researching optimization for several international sites, and research overwhelmingly suggests that you do need to be hosted in the country you want to rank in.

zammo, I'm a citizen of the world. :)

There are caves everywhere. ;)

5:16 am on Sept 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

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...and I love crawling into 'em.

Ummm, what I mean is, nooks and crannies are the little guys' haven on the Web. AFAIK, it may always be that way. It's why small businesses dominate the GNP. Not to mention the GWP.

;-)

 

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