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Google’s John Mueller affirms that dedicated web hosting does not have an SEO advantage over shared hosting.
This is stated in that latest installment of the Ask Googlebot series on YouTube.
The video addresses a question from a small business site owner who’s looking to keep costs down by hosting their website on a shared server.
Dedicated hosting is more expensive because it’s designed for faster page speeds. In turn, that could result in a ranking advantage in Google’s search results.
If a small business’s budget only has room for shared hosting, is that still acceptable by Google’s standards?
Here’s what Mueller says.
Shared Hosting vs. Dedicated Hosting For SEO
Shared hosting refers to a setup where multiple websites are hosted on the same server or on the same IP address.
The alternative is dedicated hosting, which is when a server or IP address is dedicated to a single website.
Shared hosting is a common set up and it’s critical for the web since there’s a limited number of IP addresses available.
From the outside it’s difficult to tell how a website is hosted. It could be on a single server, a cluster of servers, a single data center, or even multiple data centres.
As it relates to shared hosting and search rankings, Mueller states:
“Using shared hosting is perfectly fine and does not negatively affect your site in Google Search.”
There’s one thing to watch out for with shared hosting, Mueller adds, and that’s overloading servers with too many websites.
When a shared server is overloaded it can become slow, although the same can happen with dedicated hosting.
A website hosted on a slow server results in a poor user experience and can make it harder for Google to crawl.
With that said, Mueller emphasizes dedicated hosting is not automatically faster than shared hosting, nor is shared hosting slower by default.
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“Just to be clear, a dedicated server is not always fast, and a shared server is not automatically slow.”
Lastly, Mueller debunks a myth that a website’s rankings can be impacted by being hosted on the same server as “bad” websites.
There’s no truth to that theory.
“Another concern we sometimes hear is that there might be other bad websites hosted on the same server. SEOs sometimes call this a “server in a bad neighborhood.”
This is not something to be worried about. In practice, most commonly used hosting providers watch out for this on their own.
There’s generally a wide range of websites hosted on shared hosting, including some fantastic ones and some bad ones too. For Google this is fine and not problematic. We treat each website based on its own merits not based on its virtual neighbors.”
In short, as far as Google is concerned using shared hosting is perfectly acceptable. There is no need to move to dedicated hosting or a dedicated IP address for SEO reasons.