I was recently contacted via email by someone who bought “SEO Friendly” web hosting and was wondering why it wasn’t working, and if they had been ripped off. I replied to the email, but then decided I should probably write something here about it as well.
As SEO as a concept gets more popular, the number of scams goes up as well. SEO Friendly web hosting is not necessarily a scam but more like a great exaggeration. There are very few things that make any web hosting “SEO Friendly”.
Web Hosting Factors That Affect SEO
Fast Hosting - Having a faster website is better for SEO, and while websites themselves can made faster there isn’t as much you can do about the hosting so you want to stick with a webhost that can provide a fast connection.
Reliable Hosting - This one is obvious, but something to keep in mind. If your website is down frequently, it won’t be spidered and may even be dropped from the index. All the SEO traffic in the world is worthless if they’re going to a 404 page anyway.
Features - Certain features may help, such as mod_rewrite support for friendly urls and caching and header mods that will help speed up your website.
Static IPs - This is a pretty big one, and most providers will give you a static IP for around $5-$10 a month. It’s well worth it for one simple reason: if your site is hosted on the same IP as a site that’s cheating Google, spamming or distributing malware there is a good chance your site may be punished as well. I’ve seen it happen. Peace of mind at a small price.
These are the only real factors at work that will affect your SEO in any measurable way. Fast and reliable hosting are things you should value in a hosting provider regardless of how it affects your SEO. Hosting has become so cheap and the services provided are so great there is no reason to avoid getting the best available.
Factors That Will Not Affect SEO
Here’s the stuff that’s not true about “SEO Friendly” Web hosting claims and should always be avoided.
Special Deals - No web hosting company has a “special deal” with Google.
Tricks or Technical Advantages - None of them have a technical advantage over the others. Any “tricks” they might have you do will probably get you delisted.
Automated SEO Services - Most of the “SEO services” offered are just resubmission services and they’re junk.
SEO Tools - Most of their “SEO tools” are actually just “Google’s free tools”. Don’t pay for what you can already get free.
In short: Don’t fall for the scams, there are plenty of them.
If you are looking for web hosting look for the items mentioned above: speed, reliability, features and static IPs. SEO is really an afterthought when it comes to web hosting, just focus on getting a good host set up for the sake of your website itself, then start spending your time on the all time best SEO technique: making your website better.