search marketing web hosting

5 Ways Your Web Hosting Affects Your Search Rankings

Written by Paul Steinbrueck

Some of our search engine optimization (SEO) clients have their websites already built and hosted by another web hosting company before they hire us to improve their search rankings.  While this is usually fine, some of our clients have experienced significant problems that hurt their search rankings because of poor web hosting service.

1) Downtime

When your website is down, both human visitors and search bots can’t access it.  Google has said short periods of downtime don’t affect search rankings, but if your website is down for more than a day, your website is at risk of losing search rankings.

Additionally, another factor that hurts search rankings is when a person does a search, clicks on a search result and then immediately comes back clicks on another site in the search results.  Search engines see this and infer that the first site was not helpful and will lower its search rankings.  This is going to happen when your website is down.

2) No backups

If your web hosting company does not automatically backup your website on a daily basis, you could be in real trouble if there is a server crash or data loss.  One of our clients recently experienced this and ended up restoring their website from a 9 month old backup.  The optimization changes we implemented were lost and so was all their content from the last 9 months.  We were able to re-implement the optimization but the client had to pay for the extra work and their search rankings dropped significantly in the interim.  We could not restore the lost content, and that continues to negatively affect their search rankings.

3) Slow servers

We blogged a couple weeks ago about how Page Speed is now a ranking factor in Google’s mobile search rankings.  One thing that affects Page Speed is the speed of the server your website is hosted on.  If you run Google’s Page Speed test, the results will tell you if your server response time is a problem.

4) SSL Certificate

Another search ranking factor we discussed recently is how Google is giving secure websites a boost in search rankings.  These are websites with an SSL certificate that start with https.  Some web hosting companies provide SSL certificates some don’t.  Installing an SSL can be complicated, and some web hosting companies are more helpful with installation than others.  Yesterday, I went to the website of one of our SEO clients and was greeted with a big red “Not Secure” message because their SSL certificate had expired and they were having difficulty getting it renewed.

5) Website Support

There are numerous other server settings and issues that can affect a website’s speed, error messages and accessibility.  The speed and helpfulness of your web hosting company’s support can have a significant impact on how quickly these issues get resolved.

The bottom line is…

Poor web hosting service will hurt your search rankings.

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So choose your Christian or church web hosting wisely.  And if you need some help improving your search rankings so your church, school, ministry or business can better live out its mission online, check out our Christian and church SEO services.

What impact has your web hosting had on your search rankings?  Post a comment and discuss it.

About the author

Paul Steinbrueck

Paul Steinbrueck is co-founder and CEO of OurChurch.Com, husband, father of 3, blogger. You can follow him on Twitter at @PaulSteinbrueck and add him to your circles at Google+ as +Paul Steinbrueck.

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