Ah, yes the fabled number 1 position on the search engine results pages. For most it is a dream, for others it’s a mirage and for those who actually manage to achieve it – it is salvation. Regardless, in order to reach these top spots for any given user query or keyword combination, there are a lot of factors that you need to take into careful consideration.
The reality is that search engine algorithms are a lot more sophisticated than they were a couple of years ago and they are constantly learning to become better at matching user expectation and intent.
Factors such as page and user experience, security and strong reputation are just some of the things that you must be absolutely sure you optimize for. But yet, this is all information that you already know of. How about we delve deeper into some of the other factors that you might not have though could influence your overall SEO strategy and rankings. This is why in this article we are going to focus on server type and why it could matter significantly when it comes to your search engine rankings.
Most popular hosting plans and servers
In general, the three most utilized server types worldwide are shared hosting, virtual private servers and dedicated instances. Each one of these server types has their own advantages and setbacks. However, did you know that each one of them can have a different impact to your SEO without you even realizing?
Shared hosting & SEO
We will start with shared hosting as it has proven to be the most problematic for websites and web applications over years.
Shared hosting involves a user purchasing a plan that would see them uploading their website or app to a server with other clients’ projects. Then, all of the server’s occupants have to share the entire server’s resources, hence where the origin of its name comes from.
Mutually sharing resources does not sound that bad, unless you plan on having a large website or application with a vast majority of concurrent users at any given time. This is because large influxes of traffic for one occupant will require the consumption of more server resources, meaning that other sites or apps hosted on the same server will become starved and deprived of said resources.
But why is this bad? Well, imagine visiting a website that takes absolutely ages to load and once it does, any interaction you try to perform on the page happens extremely slowly or it might not happen at all. While the latter case is quite extreme, visitors tend to spend between 2 and 5 seconds on any given page and if your website or application fails to load in time, you could be looking at an increased bounce rate and even worse – a lost potential customer.
Loading speed and bounce rate are some of the signals that search engines do take into consideration when ranking your pages and content and having a website or application that fails to deliver can negatively hurt you in terms of overall SERP position.
Ultimately, while affordable and easy to manage, shared hosting is far from the perfect solution to your hosting dilemma. Due to the fact that it is the cheapest option you can get, you can consider going for it if you do not expect to have a lot of online customers. Portfolios, local store websites, general information and small cultural heritage institutions pages are usually the most optimal choices for shared hosting.
How are VPS servers different?
VPS service providers’ servers like those of VPSBG, utilize virtualization technology to create separate virtual machine instances. Despite being run on the same server, each instance has its own resources including active memory (RAM), processing power (CPU) and storage (SSD or HDD).
These servers are also quite impressive due to their built-in properties such as their ability to scale or downgrade. But what exactly is scaling?
Scaling refers to adding more resources to your server in order to accommodate any necessary fluctuations. Having more users than what you are accustomed to seeing traditionally? No problem – just add more active memory and increase your processing power. Have more items that you would like to upload on your website for sale but you are afraid that the incredible amount of pictures will not be able to be stored on your server? Just purchase more storage and everything is going to be just fine.
On the other hand, you might have bought more resources than what you are currently using and you would rather not have to pay so much for something that never gets to be utilized. Again, not a problem – simply contact your hosting provider and ask for your server to be downgraded until your traffic increases again.
Furthemore, VPS servers also allow you to install additional software that you can use to manage your website or application through the ability to log into them using SSH. This full root access allows you to basically tailor and customize your server to your liking.
So, VPS servers are great, but how can they help with your SEO? Well, first and foremost, as we already mentioned, the independent resources are the most important thing that they have as an advantage. Having a fast site or app will guarantee you quick loading speeds and better user experience metrics such as Time to Interactive and Speed Index in addition to having lower Total Blocking Time. These are all examples of Google’s user experience metrics, which do affect your search engine results performance.
Dedicated servers – the ultimate choice?
Yes, dedicated servers are the be-all-end-all of hosting. These instances have completely independent resources for the occupant and their project. They are incredibly powerful and useful but also quite expensive. However, if you are a large business, corporation or service provider looking to get the top spots on the SERPs, you should definitely think about going for dedicated hosting due to these independent resources. Moreover, these servers are capable of handling a lot of incoming traffic at all times, allowing you to be able to not have to worry about your website or application slowing down. It is important to keep in mind that speed and user satisfaction are some of the most crucial factors that can determine whether you make it to the top of the results or not.