How Hosting Can Influence Your SEO

Have you ever stopped to think about how the choice of your Hosting Service can affect the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) of your website? Your Hosting Service, what types of servers they use, and the other types of web sites they host can all dramatically impact the SEO of your own web site. Moreover, Google’s recent implementation of “Panda” also known as the “Farmer” update has hit many web sites hard, significantly lowering their Google rankings. Google’s goal with Panda is to go after low-quality content and content farm sites with this new algorithm in order to provide a better web searching experience for everyone. The statistics showing how Panda/Farmer has affected many company’s rankings provides interesting reading. Google’s algorithms are closely guarded secrets but one thing is obvious since the implementation of Panda in the U.S., .org’s and .edu’s are ranking consistently higher and many of the content mills have plummeted. Many of the large U.S. based .org’s are hosted using Linux based PHP and Apache servers so this is something to consider when choosing your Hosting Service.

The security of your Hosting Service’s servers is another thing to consider. Linux Apache servers are some of the most secure and widely used servers on the market. A January 2011 Netcraft web server survey showed a growth of 10.1M hostnames added to Apache servers and the graphs clearly show that Apache servers are the preferred choice by far over all other types of servers. In addition, Linux runs 91.8% of the world’s super computers. (11/2010). Security can dramatically impact not only your SEO but your customers as well. Many of the design structures of PHP and Linux Hosting that seem difficult or cumbersome are in fact security related structures that make PHP hosting very stable and secure. The security of your Hosting Service is important to SEO because of the way websites are managed by hosting companies. If many of the other websites on your hosting service are poorly designed or have security issues your SEO can be negatively impacted. This is guilt by association as far as the algorithms are concerned. In a worst case scenario the entire host can be forced to shut down to deal with a security breech and if that happens your whole website could be down for an indeterminate period of time and this will definitely negatively impact your SEO and your business.

PHP is the workhorse programmer’s language for the web much more so than either Adobe’s Cold Fusion or Microsoft’s ASP. PHP is the most dominant server-side scripting language. Web-content management systems that are written in PHP include Joomla, Drupal and WordPress. Two of the largest websites that use PHP for user-side content are Wikipedia and Facebook. Google, Yahoo!, YouTube, Digg and Flickr all use MySQL and elements of PHP throughout their websites. One of the reasons these large players use PHP is because upload speed can influence SEO ranking. PHP is fast and it is platform agnostic meaning that it runs at the same speed on a smart phone as it does on a high-speed desktop. Scalability is also a major factor to consider when choosing your language and Hosting Service.

In many countries specific markers are used in host names. For Example, .uk for the United Kingdom and .it for Italy. To achieve high SEO rankings in these markets it is useful to use these county specific markers. For example Priceline, a company that has grown very quickly over the last five years, uses www.priceline.com for its U.S. customers but uses www.priceline.co.uk for the United Kingdom. If you are planning future growth for your company outside of the United States it pays to invest in PHP and Linux based hosting now- especially if you have any intention of entering the BRICK or European markets where the LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP/Perl) stack is common.

Using SEO friendly web hosting immediately opens up a wide variety of free tools and sources of code to you that other types of hosting may not. Moreover, because these are Open Source (free) you can apply what you need from the basic caches of code and then customize them to suit your needs. Enormous worldwide communities of computer experts are then at your fingertips to answer questions and offer technical advice. All of this support is free and overall the quality of help far surpasses any paid company support. You can then take the money that you are saving paying for proprietary software and apply it to your company. PHP also works seamlessly with many other tools and languages including Flash. Encapsulation allows you to easily outsource sections of code to specialists to get just what you are looking for in your web site. All of this means that your web site will be up and running smoother, faster and better and this will increase your SEO ranking.

PHP hosting is also often cheaper and sometimes free compared to other types of hosting. Free hosting services need to be carefully reviewed before you choose this route. Often your space will be limited on a free hosting site and you and your customers may be forced to tolerate pop up ads and delays. Depending on your needs, free Linux hosting may be a good choice but it’s not likely to do anything good for your SEO. You would be far better off taking the money you are saving in buying and updating software and spend in on a first rate PHP hosting Service. For more information about Search Engine Optimization please visit http://www.seomoves.org

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