Setting up a new site-Choosing your host

 Setting up a new site Choosing your host There are two key choices to make when setting up a new website: your  web host and your domain name. Many business owners give little  thought to either. However, a sound house is built on good foundations  and these two areas have a greater significance to SEO than you might  think.
Choosing your host

It may surprise you that where your site is hosted has any impact at all  on your search engine position. However, it is one of the most important decisions you will make - host in haste and repent at leisure.

If at any point you would like to know who is hosting a site (for example one of your competitors), simply visit the Whois lookup at and type the domain you want to check into the search bar.

First, be aware that any search engine spider contains "time-out" code that prevents it from fully indexing a site that loads too slowly. If your web pages are large and your hosting provider is slow, this could present a real barrier to your full site being indexed.

Secondly, you should note that an inadvertent leak of sections of the Google algorithm onto the web revealed that Google tracks a variable called timedout-queries_total, suggesting that the number of timeouts is itself also a factor in ranking.

In other words, a site that takes ages to load (or crashes often; see below) is assumed to be a low-quality site and will thus rank poorly.

Fortunately, there is an easy way to check the speed of a site. Visit (a service from Amazon) and enter the homepage URL of some sample sites into the search box.
Find each site in the list of results and click on the "Rank" link, then the "Overview" link. Alternatively,  simply type into your web browser the URL

Scroll down the Overview page until you get to the Site Stats section.  Under the Speed ​​heading you will see an assessment of the speed of this site compared to all the other domains in the Alexa database (which is pretty huge). 

The speed statistic is a measurement of the time it takes for pages on a site to load and is based on load times experienced by Alexa Toolbar users. Load times can be affected by a number of factors, including the size in kilobytes of your web pages, the responsiveness
and location of the site's servers, and the internet connection speeds of the site's typical users.

You will not be able to control when Google bot and other search engine spiders visit your site. If they visit while your site is down, the aforementioned timedout-queries_total variable will tick upwards, which isn't good. Often webmasters are actually unaware of their site downtimes.

Once you have your site up and running, there are a number of sitemonitoring tools you can purchase or use for free on the web. One is the Kane Internet Seer web-monitoring tool, which sends you a regular email containing site-uptime data. Sign up at / home.

Again, as for speed, when you track back top-ranked performers to their pricing packages, you may be disappointed to find that they are more expensive than you were hoping to pay. This is not surprising:

Excellent performance (or so-called "high availability") requires significant infrastructure investment. The cost must be recovered from customers.

If you are going to economize on anything, I would recommend you do not do this with your hosting provider, As with speed, reliability is not an area to scrimp on.

Operating system
If you're not technically minded and leave all this to your IT department, you may want to skim through this section. When you visit Netcraft you may notice that Linux (or other Unix-based servers) is overrepresented in the top-performers list when compared to FreeBSD and Windows.  This has always been the case on the web - and will probably continue to be so.

Geographical location
Did you know that the location of your provider's servers, at the time of writing, can make a big impact on your search engine rankings in local varieties of Google?

data center. If your TLD (top-level domain) is. Com (rather than., there is a strong probability that Google will interpret your site as being German based (even if all your contact details on - and links to - the site are UK oriented). 

If you then go to and search on "Seiten aus Deutschland "(sites from Germany), your site will perform well in the rankings. 

However, you will struggle ever to rank well in "Pages from the UK "on

On the Netcraft site there is a "What's that site running" dialogue box, where you can enter a domain name and see, in the results, the country where its IP address is based. Alternatively, try / and see a similarly comprehensive summary from the DomainTools site.

If you are planning to have more than one site, costs can stack up. It is also likely that Google will recognize your sites as being related and will ascribe less weight to any links between your related sites in determining the ranking of any one of them.

This is why some hosting providers are beginning to advertise "multiple domain hosting "(ie, you can have more than one domain in the same package) and  "separate C Block IP addresses" (ie, Google will not so readily recognize the different domains as being related; a C Block is a group of unique numerical addresses allocated to a hosting provider).

In my view, the related domains risk is overstated. Matt Cutts, a blogging engineer at Google (and the unofficial voice of the company), has confirmed that related sites penalties do indeed apply, as a way of tackling spammers who build multiple interlinked sites to manipulate rankings. However, he has also said that you would need to be hosting hundreds of sites together to risk being adversely affected by this.

It may have come to your attention that most hosting providers resell their hosting space through their (primary) customers. Reseller hosting is similar to what happens with office properties when a lessee sublets a property to someone else. The ultimate owner may not be the person you are letting from.

However, did you know that sometimes resellers also sell to other resellers? Or that those re-resellers sometimes sell on to re-re-resellers?
If you purchase web space at a suspiciously low monthly cost, you may want to check who you are actually buying from. It could be someone operating from the bedroom of their house!

Key points on hosting
Do not underestimate the importance of choosing the right web-hosting provider. This is not an area where you should make cuts in your budget.

If your SEO campaign is not based on the firm foundations of a strong technical platform, Googlebot and its friends will shun your site.
  • Choose a fast host with modern servers and high-bandwidth connections. 
  • Choose a reliable host that demonstrably minimizes downtime. 
  • Use Linux for hosting unless other (functional) needs dictate otherwise.
  • Choose a host with servers in the country where most of your customers live.
  • Do consider multiple-domain hosting packages. 
  • Look for flexibility and decent support arrangements. 
  • Avoid deeply nested reseller arrangements.
Source: Get to the Top on Google


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