How web hosting can affect SEO

What is Search Engine Optimization aka SEO? In simple terms, it’s a technique for tailoring your website so that it appears as high as possible in the search results of major search engines like Google and Bing.

The quality of its content determines the majority of your site’s ranking on search engine result pages. However, the quality of your web hosting services also plays a role.

Five Web Hosting Factors that Affect your Website’s SEO

Page Loading Speed

If you grew up in the early days of the internet, then you may not find it all that unusual to have to wait for a website to load. However, these days, people expect a website to load within milliseconds. In fact, people are so impatient these days that if your site doesn’t load instantly, they’ll bounce away.

Search engines also consider page loading speed to be important. If it happens that your site takes more than a few seconds to load, this will result in your website receiving a lower search engine ranking.

Therefore, you must choose a web hosting that can offer your visitors a speedy experience. This can mean selecting VPS or cloud hosting instead of shared hosting and choosing a provider with a reputation for reliable page loading speeds.

Additionally, when selecting a host, you should try to find one that has a data center that’s located close to your target audience. The farther your website data has to be transmitted, the longer it will take for your website to load. However, if you have a widespread audience, you may be better off setting up page caching with your host or using a content delivery network (CDN).


If you thought a slow loading site was bad, imagine if your site wouldn’t load at all. This could be disastrous for your business.

Downtime can be caused by hardware failure, a security breach, or an overloaded server, among other things and these things are almost always the fault of the web host.

However, not only can downtime affect your business, but it can also affect your SEO. If your site is offline for even just a few minutes at a time, search engines may flag your site as unreliable and lower your ranking. Furthermore, if the downtime lasts for days instead of minutes, Google may completely de-list your site from search results.

For these reasons, you must check whether they offer an uptime guarantee when choosing a web hosting service. A 99% uptime guarantee means that your website might go down for several days a year. However, a 99.99% guarantee means that if your site goes down at all, it will only be for a few minutes each year.


There are a variety of factors that search engines use to determine the most relevant results to show a searcher. One of these factors is the location of a website. For example, if someone is located in Canada, most search engines will display sites based in Canada higher up in the search results.

Search engines use a number of indicators to determine where your website is based. One of these indicators is the IP address of your site. An IP address gets assigned to your site based on the location of the server your website is hosted on. Therefore, by opting for website hosting from a company that has servers in the same location as your target audience, your site should rank higher when people in that location search for your keywords. However, on the flip side, this means that your site will rank lower in search results when people look for your keywords in other countries.

Database Connection Failure

The warning messages “Internal Server Error” and “Database Connection Failure” mean that your server is overloaded with traffic. While this occurrence won’t affect your SEO score as negatively as your site being fully offline, it will result in your site’s bounce rate going way up, affecting your score.

If you get these messages, it’s an indication that you need to upgrade your hosting plan. Database errors happen because your plan doesn’t contain enough bandwidth to handle your visitor traffic. These errors often occur with shared hosting plans, so you may want to move to a VPS or cloud hosting plan.

However, moving your site to a new hosting plan takes time. Therefore, you may want to consider short-term solutions such as creating a cache of your site. Creating a cache means that your visitors won’t have to connect to the database stored with your host. As a result, they will be able to visit your site, even if the server is overloaded.

Sharing Hosting Services with Spammers

It doesn’t happen very often, but if you’re on a shared server and the other accounts on the said server are spammy websites and email addresses, this can hurt your website’s search rankings. When a search engine penalizes spammy sites, they do so by penalizing every site using the IP address. As a result, your site will be penalized because you’re using the same IP address through the shared hosting plan.

Fortunately, there’s an easy way to check whether your search engine performance is affected by spammy sites. All you have to do is find a Reverse IP Domain Check Tool and enter your URL. This tool will then show you who else is using your IP address.

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