Google’s John Mueller confirms that dedicated web hosting has no SEO advantage over shared hosting.
This is stated in the latest installment of the Ask Googlebot range on YouTube.
The video addresses a question from a small business website owner who wants to keep costs down by hosting their website on a shared server.
Dedicated hosting is more expensive because it is designed for higher page speeds. This in turn could lead to a ranking advantage in Google’s search results.
If a small business’s budget only allows for shared hosting, is that still acceptable by Google standards?
That says Müller.
Shared hosting vs. dedicated hosting for SEO
Shared hosting refers to a setup where multiple websites are hosted on the same server or IP address.
The alternative is dedicated hosting, that is, when a server or IP address is dedicated to a single website.
Shared hosting is a common facility and is critical to the web because of the limited number of IP addresses available.
From the outside, it’s hard to tell how a website is hosted. This can be on a single server, a server cluster, a single data center, or even multiple data centers.
Regarding shared hosting and search rankings, Mueller says:
“Using shared hosting is perfectly fine and will not have a negative impact on your website in Google searches.”
There is one thing to watch out for with shared hosting, Mueller adds, namely overloading the server with too many websites.
When a shared server is overloaded it can get slow, although the same thing can happen with dedicated hosting.
A website hosted on a slow server creates a poor user experience and can make it difficult for Google to crawl.
With this in mind, Mueller emphasizes that dedicated hosting is not automatically faster than shared hosting, and shared hosting is by default not slower either.
“Just to be clear, a dedicated server isn’t always fast and a shared server isn’t automatically slow.”
Finally, Mueller debunkers a myth that the ranking of a website can be affected if it is hosted on the same server as “bad” websites.
There is no truth in this theory.
“Another concern we sometimes hear is that the same server may be hosting other bad websites. SEOs sometimes call this a “server in a bad neighborhood”.
This is nothing to worry about. In practice, the most common hosting providers pay attention to this themselves.
There is generally a wide range of websites hosted on shared hosting, including some fantastic and some bad too. For Google, that’s fine and not a problem. We treat every website according to its own preferences and not according to its virtual neighbors. “
In short, using shared hosting is perfectly acceptable to Google. There is no need to switch to dedicated hosting or a dedicated IP address for SEO reasons.
See the full video below.