The SEO landscape is constantly in a state of flux; like seasons, SEO strategies come and go. However, the SEO industry does have some constants, but there is no shortage of gimmicks.
Some companies will say just about anything to attract new customers, so after hearing about the usefulness of SEO hosting, many individuals want to know if it’s true or just one of the latest gimmicks to bring in revenue.
There are a few different ways to look at it. Unfortunately, the way that most SEO hosting companies portray the service makes it nothing more than a gimmick. However, it’s very important to take a deeper look and see what is really going on.
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A Deeper Look
There are plenty of regular web hosting companies. In fact, it’s very likely that there are too many hosting companies, which could be why the vast majority of these companies fade away.
A lot of webmasters have probably noticed how many new SEO hosts have sprouted up recently. The sales pitch that these companies use entices webmasters because it mentions ranking high in the search engines.
A typical sales pitch from such a company might also mention that SEO hosting is good for SEO. At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter what hosting company is used; a website can be ranked high in the SERPs on virtually any type of web host.
At its core, SEO is about optimizing content in a way that makes the content rank better in the major search engines. It’s true that content needs to be relevant, and core SEO consists of optimizing new or existing content and making it relevant to the search queries that you’re trying to rank for.
An SEO web hosting company cannot control how any particular website will rank in the search engines, and for this to be possible, the company would actually need to write the content for the website because that is what search engines use to rank a website.
When trying to sell their services to new customers, many SEO hosts add unrelated tips to their service page. For example, some companies talk about having unique content. They might even talk about getting links to a website. However, these tips are not related to the service that the hosting company is selling.
The Unique IP Address Feature
While trying to attract new customers, many SEO web hosts talk about a unique IP address. They say that it’s crucial to put your website on a unique IP address.
This is a generic statement, and it’s used by countless SEO hosts. Put simply, the way that these web hosts try to sell their services to new customers is a bit deceptive. There is no doubt that a unique IP address is useful but not in the way that SEO web hosts advertise it to be.
The major search engines use algorithms, and it’s easy to think of these algorithms as robots. They’re really just software programs that constantly crawl through the Internet while indexing new pages. The algorithms that search engines use looks for distinct patterns, and it’s these patterns that are used to decide where a website should rank in the search engine results.
There is no doubt that search engines look at the IP address a website is hosted on. The most well-known search engine of them all actually got a patent for the technology that looks at the IP address that a website is hosted on, which is why there is no doubt that a unique IP address can be useful.
While scouring the web and looking for patterns, search engines look for websites that have malware, and they also look at websites that are known for sending out or linking to spam sites.
Although it’s quite rare, search engines have actually blocked entire IP blocks from their index because of the activity of the websites hosted on those IP blocks. The IP blocks that contain these shady websites are called bad neighborhoods. However, as mentioned earlier, the search engines rarely block an entire IP block, but it does happen.
When SEO Hosting Is Useful
A webmaster can host his or her website on a regular web host, and the potential to rank high in the major search engines is the same as it would be on an SEO host. If a webmaster wants to host a single website and try to rank it in the search engines, a unique IP address is not really helpful.
As long as the other websites on the same IP block are not engaging in shady activities, there is really nothing to worry about, and a website has every opportunity to get ranked highly by search engines. Since it has already been established that search engines do look at the IP address that a website is on, it’s important to understand why.
Currently, the top search engine is Google, and the algorithms that are used by this company look at hundreds of different factors. When these algorithms are deciding where to rank a website, one of the factors that they take into consideration is how many links the website has pointing at it.
However, the algorithms also check to see if the websites linking to the original site are on unique IP addresses. If a website has multiple links pointing at it from multiple websites that are on the same IP block, only the first link helps the website to rank higher in the search engines.
Google doesn’t give all of the other links as much weight as the first link from any given IP block. A lot of businesses have a network of websites, which are all legitimate, and the business might wish to interlink all of the websites in their network because it can help each website to rank better.
This is really the only way a unique IP address would be useful. Most SEO hosts are advertising to webmasters who plan on hosting a single website, and since these webmasters don’t have a network of websites that they wish to interlink, there is no point in paying the additional money for one or more unique IP address.
Another Potential Problem
There is another problem with SEO hosting. A lot of webmasters purchase domains that have expired, and they use these websites to boost the search engine rankings of other websites that they own. Google refers to this practice as a link scheme, and while it’s quite obvious that link building networks produce results, they make SEO extremely risky.
The fact that a web host actually calls itself an SEO host is a huge red flag, and there is a lot of speculation as to whether or not the major search engines are automatically reducing the rankings of websites that are hosted on so-called SEO hosts.
If this is really happening, an unsuspecting webmaster could be considered guilty by association, even if he or she never had any plans of using a link scheme, and for this reason, it’s probably better to go with a web host that doesn’t advertise as being an SEO host.
At the end of the day, it’s quite safe to say that SEO hosting is a gimmick. Even for individuals who plan on setting up a link scheme, the risk of using an SEO host would seem too great for the potential reward.