This conversation never seems to get old in the SEO industry. Everyone seems to have a separate opinion about what is best for SEO purposes and how Google can associate multiple sites on a single server.
Is it OK to have multiple sites on the same server with the same IP address? Well, let’s find out.
Dedicated IP Addresses vs. One IP Address for Multiple Sites
In a perfect world, it would be best to have dedicated name servers for every domain that you’re hosting. However, it’s not the easiest or the most cost-effective solution. Instead, most web developers will have a shared server for a number of websites that they’re hosting, and with that comes shared IP addresses for each site. The benefit of having a dedicated IP in terms of SEO is that other sites won’t be able to negatively affect the SEO with bad practices, meaning if a website on a shared IP is marked as having malicious content or negative SEO, it can affect the other sites shared on that IP. This is pretty rare, so if you’re not doing anything malicious, then it shouldn’t affect your SEO for each site. However, it can definitely hurt the SEO if all of the websites are interlinked with the same exact IP address.
Does Similar Content with Shared IP Addresses Affect the SEO for Multiple Sites?
If you’re developing websites using the same template or set of templates, have similar industry-related content and are interlinking between sites all on the same IP address, Google will most likely flag this negatively. The websites won’t necessarily be penalized if they are using best SEO practices, but the sites won’t do as well as they could in terms of Google organic rankings and traffic. The reason behind this is all of the interlinking and similar website templates and content for all of the sites. Google could easily distinguish this as a network of sites, which isn’t a good thing. In fact, Google is against any sort of site or blog network, so your websites will be devalued because of this.
Which One is Better for SEO?
It’s not necessarily bad to have shared IP addresses for SEO, as long as all the sites have unique content and don’t interlink at all. What is best is to have a cloud-based server, because those servers will automatically update the website IP addresses every so often. You also want to have an IP address that is associated with the location of the actual business, because it wouldn’t look natural to host a website meant for United States but based in India.
You also want to have a dedicated name server for your business to host your websites on. You don’t want to purchase a shared server that could have other potentially harmful sites on it, since you don’t know what sites are being hosted there.
Don’t purchase a cheap server that’s going to cause load time issues. This can be harmful to SEO, as well as conversion, because the sites aren’t loading quickly enough. Google will devalue a website that has slow load times, since the search engine wants to provide a better user experience for its consumers.