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A dedicated server just gives the user more flexability in contorl over the what happens on the server in question as being on a shared server another site could be hacked that can cause your site issues as well.
I am on a dedicated server and won't it at all possible ever go back to a shared hosting account. I just like the freedom of doing things on a dedicated server I can't do on a share server.
Your question has no correct answer as it can really go both ways. Going dedicated is based on site performance and what you need to do.
No unless the server your are on is slow, down quite a bit of the time, has dns issues, or just lacks in the ability to properly serve up pages on your site as requested.
Another thing to consider is that even though you may not have any problems with any of the other sites hosted TODAY, you have absolutely no control over the sites that may be hosted in the future. Even if the sites themselves are not spammy, all it takes is one careless hoster to gets his FTP password hacked and somethign gets uploaded to bring down the whole server (including your seites).
$100 for the primary infrastructure cost for a business is a hoot. My phone bill is bigger than that.
Of course, the big difference is that dedicated servers are generally unmanaged, so it's up to you to look after software installation, upgrades, and security. And that can be a real pita.
But have also heard horror stories of a whole IP getting banned in Google thus banning all sites under the same IP. So I guess it really depends what you put on your servers.
Very low cost hosting plans are often poorly administered - vulnerable to hacks, parasite hosting, malware injections and so on. Those will obviously hurt your rankings, but the IP address itself is not the cause - sloppy server admin is.
Hi, I have been looking at a competitors site which sits on a dedicated box, would this make much of a difference in rankings - he is above me btw?
How do you know she/he has a dedicated server? In fact, how would Google know if the server was dedicated?
As 5ubliminal points out, if you're sitting behind a unique IP address, that's about all a search engine can see.