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Hosting Myths Debunked: Private vs Public

Basic SEO | 15 Feb 2011

Recently I had a client ask me if having his hosting on a private server versus a public server would make any difference to his rankings in Google. This has been a long debated argument in the online community, mostly centering on shared cloud servers and VPS, or Virtual Private Servers.

The first thing to consider is the stellar differences between the two most common types of hosting. The first type is public, and it is the hosting of choice for those who run small businesses on the internet like blog owners and work-at-home marketers.

Public hosting usually shoves 400-500 accounts into one operating server. Many marketers believe that this alone causes their website to lose ranking in Google. On a public server you share your IP address with an indiscriminate amount of people, and there is a growing mentality on the internet that this is detrimental to the page ranking of your website.

Virtual Private Servers, on the other hand, typically accommodate roughly 12 sites per server, and they allow users “shell access” to change settings and delegate resources. According to a chat I had with Host Gator, with VPS you can install packages on the server and substantially modify it to meet the exact needs of your business. VPS is especially popular for large companies or financial institutions that need extra security and prioritized access to all parts of their online business.

So with all this considered, does the type hosting actually affect a websites ranking in search results? The answer is NO. A company may opt for a dedicated server for security or branding reasons, but when it comes to Google, it makes no difference whatsoever to their actual ranking.

In a recent post by Matt Cutts who is the head of Google’s webspam team, Google takes great measures to eliminate any advantages that may come from differing hosting plans: “Google handles virtually hosted domains and their links just the same as domains on unique IP addresses. If your ISP does virtual hosting correctly, you’ll never see a difference between the two cases. We do see a small percentage of ISPs every month that misconfigure their virtual hosting, which might account for this persistent misperception–thanks for giving me the chance to dispel a myth!”

With all this considered, cost and usability as it applies to your businesses needs should dictate what type of hosting you choose to go with.

When it comes to ranking in the search engines, SEO done right can be the bread and butter of getting your business noticed by your customers. Give us a shout and discover how we are transforming businesses like yours. Contact us!

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