You might have heard a buzz that IP address impacts SEO.
Well, is this true or simply a myth!
In this post, I am going to talk all about IP address and share with you whether having a dedicated IP address will boost your SEO rankings or not.
So, let’s start!
What Does an IP Address Mean?
IP address, commonly known as Internet Protocol address is a series of numbers ranging between 1-3 digits parted by dots. An IP address determines a device linked to the internet or any other computer network.
They are usually codes that enable all devices like servers, phones, computers, and more to communicate to each other through the internet across locations.
Each number mentioned on an IP address can vary from 0 to 255. Hence, an IP address looks like – 126.96.36.199.
In the present technological scenario, an IP address is one of the most vital things.
It is because an IP address identifies the host and server location, which allows you to send as well as receive information online without any hassle. A system is able to send and receive messages only if it knows from where it is coming and from where to send it. Hence, if there is not an IP address mentioned on the device, the messages will not be delivered and received properly.
Just like the way you send an envelope with an email address mentioned on it, similarly, an IP address drops the message to the system mentioning the same.
This way, you and all other users are able to easily use the internet.
What is a Website IP Address?
Just like most of the technological devices, even websites have an IP address mentioned on them. These addresses are assigned by servers, which host them.
While most of the devices and platforms have a dedicated IP address, a website can also have a shared IP address. This means that the addresses are shared with other websites on its server.
History of IP Address:
An IP address is a unique code, which lets any computer within the network to be identified.
The initial version of the IP address was known as the IPv4 or Internet Protocol Version 4. The protocol uses a 32-bit address for defining an IP address. In 1995, a new version known as IPV6 or Internet Protocol Version 6 was introduced, which continues to be modified.
The protocol utilizes a 128-bit address for defining the IP address. Finally, an update was introduced in 2017 and since then the address has been in use.
Dedicated Vs. Shared IPs:
Most of the website technology providers and data centers offer variations on two distinct kinds of hosting – dedicated hosting and shared hosting.
In shared hosting, the resources of a server are clubbed together to host multiple websites without in context to who owns the website, the volume of traffic a website receives, and more.
While using dedicated hosting, the resources of a server are applicable to a particular set of applications and websites. But the resources are assigned at the discretion of a person renting the server space and not hosting provider.
As far as shared hosting is concerned, it contains hundreds and thousands of websites, which settle on the same server. For this reason, all websites on shared hosting have the same IP address.
In dedicated hosting, websites possess an individual platform that is dedicatedly solely to one website. For this reason, websites with dedicated hosting have different IP addresses.
Despite this major difference, dedicated and shared IPs function in a similar manner. While a hosting account has the same IP address when on a shared hosting platform, the dedicated IP holds an exclusive or unique address, which is exclusive to the hosted server. This implies that a dedicated IP address is uniquely yours. This way, you are in complete control of who is using a website.
Understanding Dedicated IP and Exactly What Does it Do
In order to understand the impact of a dedicated IP address on SEO, it is first important to know how IP addresses function.
The IP addresses offer a way to internet traffic to the correct place, almost the same as a postcode or zip code. Just like different postal codes but the same city, different people can share the same IP address.
If your website has a shared hosting account, you may be sharing the IP address with dozens of other individuals. If it is a huge and robust shared hosting platform, you may even share the IP address with hundreds of other websites.
Remember, there is no problem with sharing. It is because the host possesses software for interpreting requests for various websites on the same IP, making sure that it serves the right content to each individual and it takes milliseconds.
With a dedicated IP address, the address belongs to exclusively yours. You may have to select various websites from the IP address, but eventually, you have the complete control of who is using it.
So, depending on your requirements, you can select a dedicated or shared hosting platform.
Why You Require a Dedicated IP Address?
Both shared and dedicated IP address has its respective benefits. Here, we share some prominent benefits of a dedicated IP address and will it be helpful for the success of your website.
- You require maintaining a secured website through an SSL certificate.
- Your website holds high traffic and requires dedicated resources for maintaining optimal performance.
- You have to view the website through an IP address.
- You are required to access the website through FTP or File Transfer Protocol on a regular basis.
Such reasons also direct that it is the perfect time for upgrading the hosting platform from shared hosting to dedicated hosting. This means dedicated IPs are not dependent on dedicated hosting to work properly.
If there are innumerable websites on a single server, you can avail of shared IPs on the dedicated server.
Among the above-mentioned reasons, the thing that directs to using a dedicated IP address is that it attaches SSL or secure sockets layer certificate to the website.
Having Dedicated IP for SSL Certificate:
Consider, you are developing an eCommerce website. In order to avail necessary details from your customers like credit card and other personal details, you must provide them the security of protecting information with SSL.
It is vital to avail of a dedicated IP for obtaining an SSL certificate on the website. Most of these hosts charge an additional amount both for SSL certificate and dedicated IP. However, a few of them may incorporate dedicated IP with the purchase of an SSL certificate.
Dedicated IP to Gain High Traffic Volume
Buying a dedicated IP simply to obtain high traffic volume is not essential as availing a secured dedicated hosting platform for websites receiving high traffic. Ecommerce websites that buy an SSL certificate are likely to possess a dedicated IP and dedicated hosting.
No matter your website is dedicated or not, if the website witnesses a huge traffic volume on a regular basis, you may wish to consider availing dedicated IP. By using dedicated hosting, the website is likely to increase or can adequately maintain the performance and speed of visitors.
Moreover, it also reduces the chances of your website crashing under the stress of high traffic, which is a common problem for websites on shared hosting.
Dedicated IP Address for SEO Strategy:
There is an ongoing debate over whether a dedicated IP address can impact SEO and bring adequate gains or not. Earlier, it was believed that having a dedicated IP platform can offer websites with SEO benefits. However, this is no true!
So, let’s see why that happened.
Matt Cutts, the head of the webspam team on Google communicates consistently with numerous members of the search and digital marketing industry. Also, he releases videos and answers queries related to Google functions and updates.
In a 2006 blog, Cutts addressed questions related to dedicated IP address, confirming that dedicated IP address is not an important ranking factor.
Again a video was released by Cutts in 2010, in response to questions about shared hosting impacts on the website’s ranking. The response dealt particularly with the presence of spammy sites on the same server having normal websites. But a large number of people considered Cutt’s response as mean dedicated IP addresses are not important to protect such normal websites, and hence, will not provide SEO benefit.
This changed things to a great extent!
Again a video in 2013, Cutts explained that the loading speed of a page is an important ranking factor, despite the fact that websites are accessed via desktop or mobile. Also, he mentioned that Google will continue to make efforts to improve the rankings.
Can a Dedicated IP Really Help Your Website Rank Better?
For the impact of dedicated IPs on SEO, there are two vital aspects to consider – spam and ranking.
Some SEO marketers believe that search engines are more likely to develop trust on a website with a dedicated IP address and offer higher rankings in the search engine. You will find more theory on this subject, but none of it is supported with evidence.
Google uses IP addresses for its calculations, but mainly to determine the trust value to an inbound link. Links availed from one IP are trusted less. But their odds are impacted to a great extent, even on a shared server.
As far as spam is concerned, Google distrust websites sharing an IP number with junk blogs, spammers and others who violate best practices. On the shared server, the illegal or unethical behavior of a person can result in a penalty.
But this is not clear and precise. Google understands that innumerable websites use the shared hosting platform. Hence, blanket penalties will be counter-productive.
Dedicated IPs and Page Load Speed:
Is it possible to load the website fast by using a dedicated IP address?
In some cases, yes! It is because there is less volume of traffic moving to that particular IP.
But if we look at it the other way round, every server is required to inspect the packet, analyze the request, and deliver the same to the correct domain. This is true if there is one website on an IP address or a thousand websites.
SEO Advantages of Dedicated IP Address:
When you own an IP address, it makes it much simpler to establish a private SSL certificate. And as a known fact, an SSL certificate is preferred by Google. Even till 2007, sites that use shared IP addresses could not obtain an SSL certificate.
Moreover, a dedicated IP address can offer you better performance. It is because dedicated IP addresses are quite faster to load as compared to shared IP addresses. It results in Google and users arriving on a site faster.
By holding a local server, it can help boost SEO indirectly by reducing the load time.
Is it Worth Investing in a Dedicated IP?
Preferably, a dedicated IP is an adequate choice as it offers you numerous benefits over shared IP.
These are special benefits and the SEO angle is now highly discredited.
The one thing that you need to watch out is spam. Hence, it is best to subscribe to Google Webmaster Tools and consider what Google thinks about the website. If your website is located in a bad neighborhood, it is best to migrate to a novel host and don’t rely solely on the dedicated IP for solving the problem.
Ultimately, the IP address of your website, whether shared or dedicated, is not going to impact and break or make your SEO efforts. I always recommend users to use a dedicated IP address because it offers numerous security benefits and performance, but it is better off selecting the correct hosting option for your business and focus mainly on building as well as implementing an efficient SEO strategy.
Moreover, a dedicated IP address will secure your site and will offer you an SSL package as a lucrative investment. But don’t buy a dedicated server simply because of the fact that it will bring you great SEO efforts.