Server location: When searching through different websites, the search engines can identify what country the website is being hosted in. And this is very important for website owners to keep in mind if they are trying to target users in a certain geographical area. For instance, users in Canada will likely use google.ca as their primary search engine and so, websites that are hosted within Canada will show higher in this search engine than they will in google.com or google.co.uk.
This matters to website owners because some choose a web host based on price alone, paying no mind to the geographical location of the web host. But that’s a big mistake, particularly when they are trying to reach visitors in a certain area.
Speed: Of all the factors search engines use to rank websites in their search displays, the speed of the website is one of the most important. Internet users typically expect a page to load in three seconds or less; and those that don’t are likely to leave the page and find their information somewhere else. The website owner contributes a lot to the speed of the site by sizing images properly and using unnecessary java script, but the web host also plays a role.
When the website is on a shared server for example, the resources for all websites on that server will be limited. These servers run multiple websites, and therefore have far more visitors than any one website would. If too many people are visiting at the same time, the server can become overloaded and show a “Try Again” error. If this happens too often, the search engine will take notice and will lower the page ranking of that website.
Website owners need to take this into consideration and make sure their host doesn’t overload their servers.
Downtime: Downtime is the amount of time users cannot reach a website because it’s down due to server problems or maintenance. All web hosts have some amount of downtime but when it happens too often, search engines will also realize this and lower the page rankings for the websites on that server. Users who visit the site will also be annoyed that they often can’t reach the site and eventually will stop trying.
Connection failure: This factor is similar to downtime and speed, but it does differ. A connection failure doesn’t mean that the site is very slow; it means that it can’t be loaded at all. And it also doesn’t mean that the website is down, just that the server is so overloaded or improperly maintained that the search engine’s server will stop trying to connect to the web server of the website. Just like downtime and slow speed however, search engines don’t take kindly to connection failures, particularly if they happen often, as they want to create the best possible experience for the user.
IP address: The IP address tells the search engines where the server is located and the location of any given website. This is how they identify the location of any web server and any website. Website owners have to be most concerned about the IP address of their website when they are on a shared hosting plan because if other websites are running content that is over-promotional or suspicious, all websites on that shared server may be penalized for it.
There are many factors a website owner may take into consideration when choosing a web host. But many neglect to consider how their web host will contribute, or detract from, their SEO efforts. These are all important factors to take into consideration, because they will greatly affect where a website ranks in the search engine results and therefore, how many people visit the site.