Web Hosting for Search engine optimisation

by David Naylor
See Dave Speak SMX London

Lost website rankings? It could be your hosting supplier.

Downtime of your site can lead to worse rankings in the search engines. I’ve been saying this for a long time now, and have demonstrated some small examples to demonstrate it. Now though, I’ve found a strong example that I thought i would show you. Independer.nl lost their position for “autoverzekering” (“car insurance” in Dutch) just because of their site being unavailable for a number of hours. It truly demonstrates how critical it's to have a good web host in addition to some monitoring constantly in place..

At around midnight, the servers would start to run a backup. A very wise process to have in place, naturally, but during the backup, for 10-15 minutes, a small percentage of site visitors would be redirected to a “temporarily not available” page. This page gave a 404 error, this caused Google to remove the page from its index, it thought the page no longer existed. They merely lost their rankings for about half a day, but only because Google re-checks 404 web pages after a while.

There are a number of things wrong here: first of all the page should have returned a 503 status code, this means “temporarily unavailable”. The reason behind this is that Google wouldn’t have de-indexed the web page and they would have come and re-crawled it sooner. Next; the page shouldn’t have been redirecting or given an error at all; backup processes ought to run with not that much impact on your website. So as you can see, done well, your web hosting shouldn’t influence your Search engine optimization.

SEO Monitoring & web hosting

Now of course, the instant you see your web page has completely disappeared from the ranking of a keyphrase that is getting you loads of new customers a day, you shit your pants. There was a little give away that it wasn’t a long term issue though: the listing had not just dropped a few places, it had in reality totally vanished. Rankings don’t normally drop out like that, it just does that for one of 2 reasons: its a hand removal or the site has been out of action.

We knew they had been having difficulty keeping the site up at night as we were keeping track of it with Pingdom. Therefore if you have ever wonder why SEO & web hosting are 2 topics I care for so much, it is because this example shows they’re one and the same.

I’ve had two minutes downtime in August, probably from playing around with my live site again, this is why I worship VPS.net.

VPS.net also have a service that monitors your site’s uptime, known as Server Density. If you set this up you can then install their iPhone application to monitor your system. If you need any more processor speed, memory etc. you can have your server upgraded without any downtime!
Working on SEO? Don’t neglect your web hosting!

By now you will perhaps agree that web hosting is incredibly important when it comes to SEO. Keep an eye on status codes for error pages, and make sure you monitor their uptime.

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The original content was taken from Yoast’s website on SEO Hosting, this is one random example of 30 articles we spun from our template, but we could have easily set it to spin a thousand. So the six million dollar question is: will Google index this as original content? Or will it flag it as automated content? Dupe content? Or any other content? And should we ever trust article websites, guest blogging websites etc. ?

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