Does Web Hosting Have an Effect on SEO?
There are 3 web hosting factors that influence where your website gets ranked. Here is an in-depth look into them:
Uptime / Downtime
Downtime is the length of time when your website cannot be accessed because of the problems involving the server. It is likely for search engine spiders to visit your website many times daily. However, if they visit when your site is experiencing downtime, they will record it as inaccessible and will go on to the next site. When this happens over and over again, your website will be considered unreliable and your rankings may be reduced. Unreliable sites are not displayed highly in results of search engine since this will put them in a bad light when the searchers click on results they give but can't access the site. Even if it is 99% uptime, your website will not be accessible for a total of 7 hours over a span of 1 month. If possible, you would want your website to be 100% accessible at all times. However, websites are expected to experience some kind of downtime even if these have expensive web hosting plans. Yet, there are web hosts that offer and guarantee 99.95% uptime, so accept no less than this.
In general, search engines do not divulge the factors that belong to their algorithms. Yet, in 2010, Google openly revealed that the speed upon which a page loads is only one among those more than 200 factors. This is certainly a very small percentage (of only 0.5%) effect on your rankings. Nevertheless, it is still worthwhile to take it into consideration. The loading speeds for your web pages are as follows:
When you have a lower than average loading speed, you should not necessarily blame your web host. The slow down may be caused by the coding and configuration of your website. However, if you are confident that your site's technical set-up has been optimized in the best possible way, but you still get poor loading times, it is about time to request your web host to transfer your site to a different server. Nowadays, it is quite common for a website to share server resources with numerous other sites. As expected, more sites on a server use up more resources, which results to slower loading times. When you transfer your website to a private / dedicated server or one that is not too busy, you will see quick improvement in page load speeds.
Aside from several different factors like content and backlinks among others, in order to show the most significant search results, search engines evaluate the website's location for deciding where to position it in their rankings. For instance, when the people who search are located in the UK, search engines will normally display sites located in UK higher in their search results. To find out where your website is located, they use some indicators like the IP address of your site, which is allotted to your site based on the location of the server where it is hosted. Therefore, when your web hosting company has severs in the UK, this could cause higher rankings for your site when UK based people search for the keywords you have chosen.