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What is SEO (Search Engine Optimization)?
SEO is improving the volume and quality of traffic to a web site or page from the search engines using natural organic and algorithmic search results (SERPs).

SEO is actually a component of SEM (Search Engine Marketing). Which encompasses many avenues with which to promote a web site or page.
If you have come here looking for SEO help, you have found a blog that can help you. There is much information here to be held and please feel free to comment anytime...Even with a question.

July 12, 2007

Is Your Hosting Holding You Down? Hosting and its Impact on Your Site.

There is quite a bit unknown to many webmasters about their hosting that could potentially be damaging their SERPs and PageRank offensive severely. I am going to try to cover most of these issues with enough information to at least ask the right question.

Choosing the right hosting. There are different types of hosting.

  • Free Hosting: Suitable for homepages and files. Generally does not have Domain name capability, security configuration, ability to run some types of scripting, php, nor databases.
  • Shared Hosting: Also known as virtual hosting. You are sharing a server with many other websites, so the hosting company will have in their TOU somewhere about sucking up too much bandwidth at one time (even if you have a huge amount of bandwidth they say you are allowed). The hosting company must maintain a very delicate balance within the server to provide service to all the sites. Generally Domains, dedicated and separate c block IPs are available, server side scripting, SQL, and many other options over free hosting....including do Ads you didn't put there. I suggest this for sites up to 10 GB of bandwidth a month.
  • Dedicated Hosting: Has all of the shared hosting features, but you do not share your server. It is quite costly.

Do your research when choosing a hosting company. Call them see how their customer service behaves on the phone, ask a ton of questions. If you cannot find a number to call them, move on to another need accessible customer support and if a hosting company doesn't visibly make their customer service number vi sable...they are not very service minded.

Ready to choose a hosting company....lets look at these services you will need or want to maintain good SEO.

  • Multiple C Block hosting for each Domain. This mean your links from site to site will carry full weight, because they are not from the same C Block.
  • Server side scripting..I suggest that you at the very least need php, perl, Java, and CGI.
  • The ability to create dedicated IP addresses for Domains and Sub Domains.
  • Ability to host multiple Domains.
  • 24/7 support.
  • Included email for your Domains. Web based, pop 3, and IMAP.
  • Mail tools like auto responders, forwarding and lists are very good to have also.
  • MySQL and phpMyAdmin for databases.
  • A user friendly control panel to manage your sites from. Ask to see a demo.
  • FTP access is a do not want to be stuck using a shell package to upload web sites.
  • Front Page Extensions if you plan to use FP to publish with.
  • MIME file types if Linux. Check out some MIME file types you might like to be able to use here.
  • Customizable error pages..or at least error pages that the hosting company has provided.
  • Flash and Shock Wave should be supported.
  • The ability to stream audio and video is a good thing to have in this alternative media driven trend we are seeing, especially with Google.
  • They should have a good firewall and some type of spam blocking.
  • They should be able to report over 95% up time for the last 90 days...if not go somewhere else.
  • If you plan to park Domains there make sure it is allowed and supported.

Linux vs. Windows

I recommend Linux environment, that is preferably running Apache. It is hands down the most highly used and respected server environment available...and for good reason. Especially when it comes to SEO mechanic and canonical issues it the most highly effective and result driven interface. htaccess is a seriously powerful tool for canonical issues, password protection, preventing bandwidth theft and hot linking, directory indexing, redirects, blocking bad bots / crawlers, and enabling SSI.

I suggest you might consider the location of your hosting in relationship with your highest target user demographic location. If they are closer to the server it will be faster and mo reliable.

Consider the amount of bandwidth and server disk space you will need, the hosting support can help you determine approximately how much space and a good level of bandwidth. Make sure you can upgrade without penalty at any time!

Speak with customer service about whether they allow spam and porn site to be located in the same server as other websites. Your "neighborhood" can seriously bring you down. Especially if you land the same C Block as a hacker site for example.

Check a few websites from their hosting against the Black determine if the hosting company is allowing spam on other sites that could have"fallout" type repercussions on your site. With this tool you can resolve the Domain name to IP address to check it out on the Black List. (It is the last tool on the page, check "a Host/Record") Good hosting companies will provide you with a few web sites they host for analysis.

Well I think that's a pretty decent guide to help you effectively chose a host suited to your needs. As always, comment if you have additional relevant information to contribute.

Peace and SEO

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