Hosting factors that can affect the SEO of your website

Too many of us get so involved in the apparent SEO tactics when optimising websites that we forget to take into account the underlying factors that have a considerable impact on the ranking of the website.

The web hosting service you use has a major impact on your SEO efforts, and there are some hosting issues that can actually have a significant (negative) effect on your SEO.

So what are these hosting issues that deserve attention? Read on to find out.

1. Slow Website Speed

The website speed is a ranking factor made official by Google; unfortunately, many of us only work on improving the website design without focusing on choosing a fast hosting service. Then there are others who neglect all efforts all together and use redundant scripts, huge images, and third-party elements that load slowly.

That being said, it is crucial to design your website without using too many scripts, such as animations, webfonts, third-party widgets and the like. Beside this, you should also choose a fast hosting service to minimise website loading times. It would be a wise idea to prefer VPS hosting in comparison to shared hosting.

Check your website speed using Google Webmaster Tools and Pingdom Tool’s website speed test.

2. Website Downtimes

Is there something worse than a site that loads at a snail's pace? Yes there is. It’s a site that doesn’t load at all. Website downtimes are almost always related to some issues with the web host. It could be due to the bandwidth limit being exceeded, or the hosting service’s servers going out of order.

Not only does this give a bad impression to your audience, but it also severely affects your search engine rankings. If the downtime continues for a few days, Google removes the website from its index.

Even if the site comes back online before that, it gets flagged as unreliable and gets a ranking well below its previously-secured position.

3. Database Connection Failures

‘Internal Server Error’ is yet another type of error message that can be displayed to your visitors. It can carry a number of meanings; however, as far as WordPress sites are considered, it just means that the database cannot be accessed. In some cases, the error message is more self-explanatory and displays a message ‘Database Connection Failed’.

This results when a database is being accessed by too many users at the same time. For instance, it may be that a video or an article has gone viral on social media and more people are now interested to read or watch it on your website.

A tool is available for WordPress that can be used to cache popular postings on your site so that a connection to the database is no longer necessary. This tool is called WP Super Cache. This, however, is just a temporary fix – eventually, you will have to upgrade your hosting to a dedicated server or consider going for reliable Linux virtual server hosting.

4. Using Shared Hosting Services with Spammers

This is relatively rare, yet a possible factor that can have a negative impact on your website’s online presence. When utilisng shared hosting services, you share the web space with various other websites. The other individuals can pose harm to your website. Therefore, it is advised that you avoid shared hosting services with spammy websites.

You can check who resides with you on a particular server by entering your URL in the Reverse IP Domain Check.

5. Incorrect TLD

It is a habit for people to assume that every website address has a .com TLD. This is why you should be extremely cautious when naming your domain. You will find that most of the short, memorable .com domains have already been taken.

Recently, there has been a significant push to make .co (Colombian top-level domain) an alternate to .com domains. Unfortunately, this effort has been unreasonable. This is because many people still assume (as mentioned before) that your domain is yourcompany.com and not yourcompany.co!

Recently, Overstock.com rebranded itself as O.co – leading to a 61 per cent drop in its traffic.

Conclusion

It should be clear by now that there are a number of additional things that need to be considered besides what just meets the eye. Choosing the right hosting is extremely important – perhaps the most important decision you can take for your website. Therefore, check some of the technical factors to consider while choosing Linux VPS hosting before you choose a particular Linux virtual server hosting.

To sum it all up: you need to make sure your hosting provider’s servers are fast enough to allow your websites to load faster and reliable enough to avoid downtimes. You should avoid shared hosting services with spammers and make sure that you choose your TLD correctly!

Photo Credit: Yuriy Boyko/Shutterstock