While implementing search engine optimization (SEO) strategies, webmasters and digital marketers always focus on combining the appropriate on-page and off-page SEO techniques. But major search engines update their search algorithms thousands of times every year. Also, they include new search signals frequently to boost search experience and improve the quality of search results.
Google currently uses site speed and site security as key search signals. In 2010, Google announced the inclusion of site speed as a signal in the search ranking algorithms. It advised webmasters to reduce the loading speed of their websites to 3 seconds to reduce visitor abandonment. Also, the popular search engines helped webmasters to measure and improve the loading speed of their websites by providing a slew of tools.
Likewise, Google advised webmasters to make the internet safer by adopting an industry-level security standard like Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS). As an extension of HTTP, HTTPS enhances site security by keeping the communication between web browsers and web servers secure. You can boost the performance of on-page and off-page SEO strategies only by increasing your website’s speed and security consistently.
While implementing SEO strategies, digital marketers often ignore the huge importance of web hosting for SEO. The right web hosting service helps you to boost the performance of on-page and off-page SEO techniques by increasing your website’s speed and security. You can assess the impact of web hosting services on your website’s search visibility using three important parameters – website speed, website security, and web server location.
Role of Web Hosting
You need web hosting services to publish a website or web application to the internet. The web hosting service provider helps and enables you to launch, run, and update a website by providing essential facilities – physical/virtual server, storage space, database, email connectivity, and site-specific configuration. The quality, quantity, and availability of these key resources and facilities directly impact your website search visibility and user experience.
According to HP.com,
“Web hosting provides a secure place to store online content. The code, images, videos, and text that comprise a website all have to be stored somewhere. Without a stable digital repository, none of us could consistently access content on the web. That makes hosting one of the most critical parts of developing an online presence for anyone, from huge companies to small-scale personal accounts.”
Assessing Importance of Web Hosting for SEO Based on Key Hosting Factors
While indexing and ranking websites Google does not consider web hosting services. It recommends webmasters avoid web hosting services that are available without payment to prevent spam. Hence, you have the option to choose from a variety of hosting services while publishing a website. But you must remember that your choice of web hosting service will impact your website’s speed and security directly. Hence, you must measure the importance of web hosting for SEO using three important parameters.
Website’s Loading Speed
As mentioned earlier, Google has been using site speed as a key ranking signal since 2010. You can boost your website’s search performance and user experience only by reducing its loading speed to three seconds. The loading speed of the website directly depends on the webserver.
You can easily speed up your website by hosting it on a web server with the capability to handle a surge in the number of concurrent visitors and requests for multiple pages. You can boost the website’s search visibility only when it is hosted on a high-speed and responsive server.
Google has been using HTTPS as a key ranking signal since 2014. It recommends webmasters to boost website security by switching from HTTP to HTTPS. However, you cannot boost the website’s online reputation and credibility simply by switching to HTTPS.
In addition to adopting HTTPS, your web hosting service provider must use encryption and security tools to prevent security breaches. Also, it must backup all website resources to ensure immediate recovery and restoration after targeted security attacks.
Web Server’s Location
Google does not consider the location of web servers while ranking websites. But several digital marketers have highlighted how the server and IP address impact a website’s search performance. Search Engine Journal recommends local business owners assign server and IP addresses to their region.
For instance, your website has a .in domain; you can increase the website’s search performance by getting it hosted on a web server located in India. Also, you need to provide a unique IP address to each website if you are planning to set up a private blog network (PBN) for SEO purposes.
A website may experience downtime due to a variety of reasons. But each downtime impacts the website adversely by making it unavailable to end-users. In addition to affecting the website’s user experience and online reputation, extended downtime impacts SEO adversely.
According to Search Engine Watch,
“Google’s Distinguished Engineer (Matt Cutts) says that if your website is down just for a day, such as your host is down or a server transfer, there shouldn’t be any negative impact to your search rankings. However, extended downtime could have an impact.”
High-traffic websites eliminate the chances of downtime by achieving 99.999% uptime. You can reduce downtime to nine hours per year by subscribing to web hosting services that guarantee 99.9% uptime.
White hat SEO techniques emphasize improving a website’s search visibility and maintaining its integrity through the creation and distribution of high-quality content. You have to create and publish a variety of digital content regularly to increase your website’s search engine ranking organically and gradually.
The content published by you will be erased from the internet if your website data is lost due to system malpractice, targeted security attacks, or human error. The data loss will require you to implement an SEO strategy from the scratch.
Also, you will lose the SEO benefits of the digital content posted and promoted over a period of time. You can minimize the chances of data loss easily by choosing a web hosting service provider that keeps in place an elaborate recovery plan and uses a robust data backup system.
According to the global cyber security statistics compiled by ITChronicles,
“Every 40 seconds, a new cyberattack starts. Each day hackers attack over 30,000 websites. 43% of all cyber-attacks are made on small businesses.”
Cybercriminals and hackers impact SEO in a variety of ways – causing downtime, modifying websites’ structure and content, creating new covet web pages, and generating malicious backlinks. That is why; you can boost your website’s search visibility only by improving cyber security consistently.
IP Address Sharing
Often small businesses and startups opt for shared web hosting to curtail costs. When you opt for shared web hosting services, your website has to share digital space and resources with other websites. There are always chances that some of these websites might be malicious or spammy.
When your website shares the same IP with spammy websites, its search engine visibility is impacted directly. You must gather adequate information about the sites that will share the same IP with your website. Also, you can boost SEO by choosing dedicated hosting services or cloud hosting services instead of shared hosting services.
Boosting SEO by Choosing the Right Web Hosting Service
While launching a website, you have the option to choose from many web hosting companies. Each of these companies allows you to choose from a wide variety of web hosting services – dedicated hosting services, shared hosting services, managed hosting services, cloud hosting, and virtual dedicated server. But the huge importance of web hosting for SEO makes it essential for you to compare the web hosting services and web hosting service providers using the right parameters.
Multiple Hosting Options
You can easily boost your website’s search engine ranking by opting for a dedicated web hosting service. The hosting option will make your website hosted on a single or dedicated server. But dedicated hosting service is more expensive than other web hosting services. Also, you have to incur additional expenses on maintaining and updating the webserver. That is why; you should choose a provider who allows you to upgrade to dedicated web hosting in the future.
You can boost SEO by minimizing key hosting factors like downtime only by choosing a web hosting service provider who guarantees at least 99.9% uptime. The uptime guarantee ensures that the website remains online and accessible except for about 9 hours a week. However, you must not choose a provider that guarantees or promises 100% uptime.
The location of the server impacts the time required by visitors to access your website. The visitors can access the website more quickly when the website is hosted on a web server near their locations. While comparing the web hosting services, you must keep in mind the location of the majority of the website visitors. In addition to boosting site speed, server location will help your SEO activities.
Content Delivery Network
Many web hosting service providers these days speed up websites through content delivery networks (CDNs) or content distribution networks. The CDNs accelerate the delivery of website content to end-users using a geographically distributed network of proxy servers. The distributed data centers make the server near the visitor’s location cache the website content and speed up delivery.
As noted earlier, Google has been using HTTPS as a ranking signal since 2014. HTTPS will appear in your website’s URL only when the web hosting service provider uses Secure Socket Layer (SSL) or Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol. These encryption-based protocols boost your website’s security and search engine ranking by keeping the communication between the server and the client encrypted.
Data loss is one of the hosting issues that impact your website’s search visibility adversely by eliminating the benefits of your ongoing SEO activities. You can eliminate the chances of data loss by choosing a web hosting option that includes automatic data backup. The automatic data backup will help you to restore your website quickly while continuing SEO and content marketing campaigns.
Many web hosting companies these days provide webmasters with robust SEO tools. You can leverage SEO tools to automate many search engine optimization tasks. Also, the SEO tools help you to measure your website’s search performance and identify the issues affecting its search visibility. Hence, you should prioritize the companies that help you to implement SEO strategies by providing a slew of useful tools.
There are always chances that visitors could not access your website due to a variety of issues. You must make your website accessible in a short amount of time only by identifying and resolving the technical issues. You can resolve various hosting issues quickly and proactively only by choosing a hosting company that offers 24/7 and multichannel technical support.
Site and Data Security
Web hosting companies differ from each other in the category of security. When you opt for shared web hosting services, your website will share server space and resources with multiple websites. Hence, the cyber security risks will increase if the company does not keep your website isolated from other websites. You can boost your website’s search engine ranking only by choosing a provider that keeps the hosting environment secure through security monitoring, malware and virus scanning, automated data backup, spam filtering, and website firewall installation.
You cannot find SEO-friendly web hosting services based on the search engine ranking of the provider’s website. You can assess the SEO-friendliness of the web hosting services based on the positive and negative reviews posted by webmasters and website owners. The reviews will help you to assess the SEO-friendliness of web hosting services based on real-time and valuable information.
You can assess the importance of web hosting for SEO from its effectiveness in increasing two important search signals – site speed and site security. While implementing SEO strategies, you must focus on availing of the right web hosting service. You can even consider switching to a hosting service provider that uses robust SEO tools.