Shared Hosting & SEO

One of my long standing pet peeves is the recommendation by SEO’s to host a website on a dedicated server as opposed to shared (virtual) hosting. The recommendation comes in many forms, and most of them are in error in my opinion. Brett Tabke, in his “Successful Site in Twelve Months” post, said:

Don’t go with virtual hosting – go with a stand alone ip.

Why Brett Tabke said that, I do not know. But I suspect it has more to do with uptime than it does with search engine rankings.


Whatever the reason, more evil SEO’s are using the recommendation to sell dedicated hosting to their naive customers, even when those customers do not have websites that would even come close to requiring dedicated hosting.

Google.com shares its IP with 123 other domains. Granted, some of those websites are not hosted by Google and are simply using Google’s IP address to park domains on Google. But you don’t see Google dropping into obscurity.

Many other top ranked websites share their IP and server with more than one website, but recently when Google for some unknown reason dropped hundreds of thousands of pages into their supplemental index, people start blaming shared hosting. Stop it, people, shared hosting has nothing to do with anything.

If you really want a dedicated server, fine, go get one. But don’t expect your search engine rankings to improve.

Yah, I would use virtual hosts without any worries. In the olden days, some ISPs would get confused and serve incorrect content (their web pages or another client’s web pages) when Googlebot asked for your page. The easy check for that is just to surf to your main page and make sure that you get your content. If a regular browser finds your content, then Googlebot will be able to with no problem as well.

That was GoogleGuy three years ago, but what he said still holds true.

And, yes, I have dedicated servers, but only because I don’t trust many vitual hosts.

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