Does Web Hosting Affect Google Search Ranking?
If you want your website to run normally and efficiently, there should be adequate space to host its pages and content on a specific web server. This is the essence of hosting. It’s invaluable for a website hosted on a server to be accessible from all parts of the world at all times. Hosting services relate to the lease of a particular part of the Internet server, and it must exist if you want your website to be visible. In order to perform quality SEO and ranked high on Google search results pages, you need to have good hosting for your website.
The impact of poor and good hosting on the ranking and website optimization is very large. A secure and accessible website is one of the most important SEO factors that largely depends on your hosting company. Without good SEO, people won’t be able to find your website when searching on Google.
Relation Between SEO and Hosting
Hosting can be one of the reasons why your website optimization won’t be successful, so you need to pay adequate attention to it. In order for search engines, such as Google, to rank your website high in organic search, it’s necessary that the website’s SEO is well done and supported by good hosting. This way, your website will always be in the users’ sight, which may be eligible for your successful Internet appearance and ultimately – for making a profit.
Be aware that the company that provides you with hosting will surely affect your website’s organic ranking on Google. There are various factors like network bandwidth that affect your site’s speed and hence SEO. However, this can vary significantly from time to time, so you should monitor the website speed parameters regularly. As soon as you notice a problem, you should contact the web hosting company to resolve the situation.
You should be looking for a hosting company with quality customer support, especially if you’re planning a long-term contract and a more expensive package. If you have signed up for a long-term hosting contract and often have problems, you should ask for a refund and switch to another provider.
The joke in the IT community that has been circulating for years describes the importance of good ranking on Google in the best way. It says: “The best place to hide a website is the second page of Google.” As many as 32.5% of people searching for something on the Internet will click on the first organic result on the first Google search results page. The percentage of people that will click on the second result halves, and drastically decreases for every lower-ranked result.
The platform on which your website is hosted isn’t very important for SEO and Google, but there are some web hosting factors that will certainly affect the ranking and therefore your website traffic. These are the type of hosting, server location, downtime/uptime, and speed of the loading of a website.
1. Yes or No to Shared Hosting?
Why should you say no to shared hosting if you want your website to be ranked high in Google? The answer lies in the fact that (unofficially) Google doesn’t prefer websites that are hosted on a shared server, which most users see a good solution due to its affordable price. Google is aware that not all sites can afford nor want to be on dedicated servers.
Per se, shared web hosting isn’t bad for the authority of your website in Google search ranking and it doesn’t affect SEO. For example, shared hosting can be quite an outstanding solution for your website to easily kick start your website. You don’t need to have much technical experience in understanding the server or working with large databases in general. This is true, especially for the shared hosting plans that offer MySQL databases as their part. MySQL hosting providers have various combinations of shared plans and features and offer cheaper price compared to other hosting solutions. They also have fast and reliable performance, quality and unlimited storage space. The latter is necessary because MySQL organizes the data in databases that contain tables of data rows that take up a lot of disk space.
However, a problem is when there are hundreds of thousands of spammy websites on the same IP address that overwhelm the minority of normal websites. This is when shared hosting negatively affects the website’s ranking.
2. Server Location
Not only the type of hosting influences ranking but also the location of the server. Having a server location close to the target audience leads to the faster redirection of the audience to your website. It’s more likely that you’ll fetch good SEO ranking and relevant traffic this way. That’s because IP address is directly related to the geographical location of your website and Google prefers to link a user from one country with a website from the same country.
The native location of the server means relevant website traffic, so IP address has an important role in placing your website in the frontline of Google search results. We strongly recommend to host your site on the same region or country when you offer local business services and target regional audience. Also, server location impacts web page load time. Closer the server location is to the audience; the faster data fetching and download speed is. This helps your target audience to view the page faster and hence increases the possibilities of getting higher rank on local Google search results.
3. Downtime and Uptime
Downtime indicates the amount of time your website is unavailable due to server problems. If your visitors often come across blank pages or have to wait longer than expected, they will turn to your competition. In addition, search engines like Google are smart enough to capture the downtime and show relevant errors in Google Search Console. This will lead to people and search engines mark your website as unreliable, which will affect SEO and ranking.
Google doesn’t want to rank unreliable websites high in its results because it also reflects badly on its reputation. Ideally, you want your website to be available 100% of the time. However, downtime is inevitable, even with the most expensive and high-quality hosting packages. So, you shouldn’t accept anything that guarantees less than 99.9% availability.
4. Page Load Speed
In 2010, Google explicitly stated that the page loading speed is one of the important factors in the ranking. However, it’s just one of over 200 factors, and as such, it will affect only about 0.5% of your ranking. Nevertheless, it’s always worth paying attention to.
Slower loading than average isn’t always necessarily the fault of your web host provider. The configuration and coding of your website could be a cause of the slowdown, but if you’re sure that your site’s technical setup is optimized and you still have loading speed issues, you should ask your web hosting company to move your site to another server. This isn’t uncommon, so by moving the website to a less busy server, or even dedicated server, the page load speed will immediately become better.
Neither users nor Google like slow loading pages. You can see the user dissatisfaction as an increase in the bounce rate in Google Analytics. It’s a metric that shows the number of users who viewed only one page and quit your website. Thus, it is an indication of the quality of your content and, therefore, your website’s performance. Google also records the time it takes for the browser to load your website from Chrome user experience reports. So, you can see the low speed score in tools like Google PageSpeed Insights if you don’t have a good enough speed of accessing it.
There’s one more metric that connects the search ranking and page load time – known as Time to First Byte (TTFB). It measures how long your browser takes to receive the first response from a server when you request a URL. This means that it measures the amount of time the server needed to process request and, subsequently, the amount of time it took to send the first byte of the response back from the web server to your browser. Therefore, the bottom line is that TTFB clearly shows a correlation between decreasing search rank and increasing time to the first byte. Websites with lower TTFB respond faster and have higher Google ranking than slower websites with a higher TTFB.
Does web hosting affect Google search ranking? The answer is yes – you need a good hosting to have a fast loading and reliable website. Google loves fast and reliable sites and reward them by ranking on top of the search results. When you determined to make your online presence as a success story, it is essential to choose a quality web hosting for your website.