A lot of evidence suggests that good page speed is likely to help a page rank higher in Google search results, and this is only achievable if the website is hosted on a good hosting server. Factors such as hosting location and content distribution networks certainly play a role, but stable and reliable hosting is the foundation of any SEO strategy.
The answer to whether a web host influences a website’s search engine optimization (SEO) is: yes. Here’s a look at why and how a poor host can impact a website’s SEO and why picking a trusted host for your website is critical.
Different Types of Hosting
While doing SEO hosting, you’ll come across different types of hosting in SEO, such as:
- Dedicated hosting
- Virtual Private Server hosting
- Shared hosting
- Class C hosting
- Cloud hosting (it’s the most versatile option, and it’s important to learn about the effects of cloud hosting on SEO)
This is the best way to weed out poor quality web hosts–if the website regularly experiences server downtimes, that’s a good indication of an unreliable web host. Downtime degrades a website’s overall performance as well as its search engine rankings. Let’s look at it from a practical standpoint: Suppose you look up a website. If it is down, it won’t appear in the search results. The search engine is not going to be able to locate the website. This will, in turn, harm the website’s SEO performance.
Further, downtime increases the site’s bounce rate (the percentage of people who enter a site, but leave before visiting pages), directly hurting its reputation.
Page Loading Speed
The loading speed of a page is the second element to consider while testing a web server. If a site is slow and takes a lot of time to load, this is going to be a big problem for your website.
It is a well known truth that if a site needs over two seconds to load, users will probably leave that site and go to the next one on the Google search results list. Because of this, the page load speed of a website is particularly important to its reputation. Any website with a long load time will have a high bounce rate. If people leave a site without visiting any pages, this will directly impact its search engine rankings and ultimately lead to lower conversion rates.
A well established and reputable web host leverages current technologies to make sure load times are quick so more visitors come to the sites they host.
Where a web host’s server is physically located will also affect your search engine rankings. If your website IP address is in the same country as where the server is located, this can improve SEO rankings. If you can, find a site host in the same location.
If the audience for your website is in the same country as the host server, this can boost SEO results, as well.
Weak website security can also seriously harm SEO results. Poor security opens the doors to attackers who might hijack your website, produce spam pages, or create a large number of false backlinks to your website. Google watches for this type of activity–you might not know it is happening, but they will—and your site could be penalized before you are able to do anything about it.
If malware infects onto your website because of weak security, this can cause your site to be blacklisted by search engines. At a minimum, a warning will pop up for anyone who wants to take a look at your website, which is surely going to make them turn away. When evaluating different web hosts, make sure they offer strong security to protect your site from hackers and malware.
A website hosted on a host server that does not provide good security and high performance is doomed to fail. Avoid shared hosts and consider upgrading to a better hosting solution if you want to avoid bad SEO rankings, sudden website crashes, downtime, and longer load times.