Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Why SEO is important when considering web hosts

When you’re selecting a new web hosting provider, SEO is probably not so high on your list of considerations. However, the web host you choose can have a bearing on how successful your SEO is.

However, this is not a case of a web host offering certain services that give your site an SEO boost, instead a web host that is considered ‘goof for SEO’ is actually one that does not do anything that can harm your SEO.

Furthermore, there are some important ranking factors in SEO that can be influenced by your web hosting. If you choose a bad web hosting provider, then these will soon become apparent.

Here are four ways in which your web hosting can affect SEO:

  1. Website speed Although it’s not as high up the list of importance as good quality content, website speed is a factor that can play a part in how search engines score, or rank, your website. If your website has great, unique content that is relevant, even if it loads a little slower than a website with bad content, it will still rank higher. However, when you’re competing with other websites that offer strong content, having a website that loads quickly can be important for SEO. Largely it comes down to usability, which is something Google take seriously in their rankings. Websites that offer a poor user experience are often penalised, and a website that loads incredibly slowly will almost certainly incur such penalties.

     
  2. Access for robots Although this is a lot rarer these days, in the past there have been countless web hosting companies that just did not understand SEO, and as a result the website which they hosted would suffer. An example of this was some hosts were putting in place scripts that would block access to the site for certain robots, including those from search engines. As a result, the websites were poorly indexed or not indexed at all. This is less of a concern now, but there are still web hosting companies with scripts that could cause conflict with search engines.

     
  3. Uptime For anyone who has worked with websites and web hosting professionally, one of the key concerns of clients is “uptime”. Put simply, what percentage of the time the website is available. Most hosts now offer uptime guarantees that are well above 99%, however this is not always the case. A website that is often down or unavailable will not be favoured by Google. The reason for this? Well if the website has been indexed and then Google comes back to re-index it and it’s no longer there, Google will see a 404 error which essentially means it believes the page no longer exists. 404s are bad for SEO and usability, and your site will be penalised.


     
  4. Security The internet has around 650 million websites active and available at any one time, a staggering statistic.For all the big name and trusted websites that you can name, there are millions of others competing for this space. A considerable number of these websites are targeted maliciously by hackers, or are set-up with one sole purpose – to infect a user’s machine with malware. A web host that does not take security seriously leaves themselves open to potentially becoming victim of a hacker who will put malware on your website.

     

The first you find out about this will be when Google webmaster tools (if you use Google Analytics) sends you a note basically saying Google is now blocking traffic to your website because of the harmful nature of the malware found. It goes without saying that this can harm SEO ranking massively, so ensuring your website and web host is secure is imperative. Check that any web hosting company you are considering using regularly updates server software and takes other steps necessary.

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