How Does Web Hosting Affect SEO: A Quick Guide

2022-03-22by Gaurav Sharma

Does Web Hosting Affect SEO in 2022: Find the Answer

Does web host affect SEO? If yes, which factors are the most prominent ones?

Google has addressed these queries in the recent past, making the significance of web hosting for SEO clearer than ever.

In this post, we’ve compiled Google’s stand on web hosting and SEO.

So without further ado, let’s find out if and how web hosting affects your SEO. 

Spammy Neighborhood Hosting Shouldn’t Be A Worry

One common fear among SEO experts is that if they host their website in the same environment as spammy websites, their website’s SEO will be affected.

But is it true and relevant in 2022?

Undoubtedly, this could’ve been a sign of worry in the past. But in modern times, Google knows that a website has no control over who else hosts in their neighborhood. Hence, it shouldn’t be your concern anymore.

A study claimed that websites hosted on shared IPs ranked less strongly than the ones that were hosted on a dedicated IP address. 

But is that the truth?

To break the myth, Google’s Jon Mueller commented on the study, stating that the research was flawed and didn’t reflect Google’s ranking methods.

Look how John Mueller responded:

Google’s Jon Mueller commented on the study, stating that the research was flawed and didn’t reflect Google’s ranking methods

Image via Twitter

According to Mueller, the problem with the study was that it was based on a made-up keyword “hegenestio”. 

He further confirmed that the Google algorithm responds to non-existing phrases in a different manner than it does for actual keywords. 

He also stated that the algorithm attempts to understand the meaning of a word and without comprehension, it can’t kick in the normal behavior.

Geotargeting Has Nothing To Do with the Website Server Location

The location of your website host has no impact on Geotargeting. In his recent episode of AskGooglebot, Muller confirmed that Google doesn’t use the server’s location for geotargeting.

Furthermore, he explained that if a brand wants to target users from a specific location, they can either go with a country-code top-level domain or tune the settings within Google Search Console.

All of this means that the search results for a particular geographic area cannot be influenced by changing website hosts.

However, as per Muller, websites will encounter a temporary impact on their crawling when they change the location of their web hosting. 

But, this isn’t going to affect SEO.

Where the location of your hosting does significantly matter is on the legal aspect and international business side. 

For instance, if you want to do business in countries like Russia and China, It’s better to host the site in the country itself.

Also, if you’re in a business that is illegal in some part of the world (like sports gambling, bitcoin, etc.), you better not host in those countries.

Highlighting it again, the location of your hosting provider doesn’t affect your SEO, but it could potentially damage your digital marketing plans.

But, How Does Web Hosting Affect SEO?

If we had to wrap our answer in a phrase, it would be “web hosting doesn’t impact SEO directly”. 

But, indirectly, it does.

Let’s talk about web hosting stuff that matters to SEO experts.

Load Time Still Matters

Page loading speed is one of the most important factors when it comes to SEO and you can check your page speed by leveraging digital marketing tools like Google PageSpeed Insights.

But it’s one of the few hundred ranking factors for Google.

Does this mean you can ignore page speed? Absolutely not.

The reason is that a slow page loading speed can increase your bounce rate, which means even if you rank high in SERP, you won’t be able to generate the desired leads

This is because the users won’t wait long for your site to load. In fact, for every 0.1 seconds improvement in page loading speed, the website conversion rate can increase by 8.4%.

0.1 seconds improvement in page loading speed

Image via Deloitte

Hence, the mindful advice is to decide on your hosting based on your website’s needs. If it serves your purpose, it’s good to go, no matter if it’s shared hosting, a dedicated server, or cloud-based hosting.

Downtime Does Affect Your Performance

Downtime was a common topic among SEO discussions back in the days of dial-up connections and T1 lines. But with content delivery networks (CDNs) and services like Microsoft Azure and AWS, it’s not much of an issue anymore.

That said, if you want to ensure uptime for your website, it’s essential to select a reliable hosting service provider. However, do note that temporary website downtimes are a common thing and they won’t affect your SEO rankings.

You Can’t Skip Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)

HTTPS encryption has been an important ranking factor for search engines and is a must for every website. Obtaining an SSL certificate isn’t difficult in 2022 as many of the web hosting providers include SSL in their hosting packages.

While SSL isn’t directly tied up with your web hosting, the fact that a lot of hosting providers now offer SSL with web hosting, it’s important to consider it here. 

So, make sure you choose a web host who provides an SSL certificate as that could definitely affect your SEO. 

Web Hosting Isn't An SEO Decision Anymore

Web hosting still does affect your SEO indirectly but as long as you stick to a reliable web host its impact would be minimal. However, make sure that you take care of your page loading speed and SSL.

If you don’t have experience in managing a server, outsource it to a maintenance team that has the expertise in managing website hosting.

Have any questions about hosting and SEO? Ask them in the comments. 

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Gaurav Sharma

Gaurav Sharma

Attrock Consultancy Pvt Ltd.

Gaurav Sharma is the Founder of Attrock, a digital marketing company. He works closely with top marketing influencers and has helped numerous brands, eCommerce firms, and SaaS companies grow. He is also a certified Google Analytics and Google Adwords specialist and regularly contributes to reputable publications like HuffPost, TechCrunch, and many more.

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