Does the IP address of your website affect SEO and Google rankings?

12 minutes reading


A common question and concern every webmaster, website creator, and developer runs into daily is what kind of IP address they should consider for their website. How do we answer the question of “Does IP affect SEO and Google Rankings?” effectively and comprehensibly? Stay with us till the end of this blog post, and we’ll show you.

In the web hosting world, you will usually run into a couple of terms: Shared IP, Dedicated IP, and Proxy IP. Each one of them is similar in what they do – they “guide” the visitor’s browser towards the server where you host your website. If they all do the same thing, then why are they divided into these three categories? What are the benefits and downsides of each IP, and does it matter which one you use for your site? In this post, we will try to cover this information and give you an idea of what an IP address is, how it works, and finally, how does the IP address you use affect your site. Let’s get started!

What is an IP address?

Picture a telephone booth with a massive phone book inside containing the numbers of all the people on the planet! The DNS system aimed to ease people’s lives by letting them pick a “name” for their website instead of remembering a long string of numbers and type it in the browser if they want to visit their site. Without DNS, instead of typing “google.com” in your browser to see your favorite search engine, you would have to type in something similar to “125.241.68.201″, which is a lot harder to remember!

There are two types of IP addresses that you may come across:

IPv4 – 125.241.68.201
IPv6 – 2001:0db8:85a3:0000:0000:8a2e:0370:7334

As if IP addresses were not complicated enough – now you have two types, and the second one is very bizarre. Why was a different kind of IP needed, you may ask? The short answer is that the internet grew very quickly, and the IPv4 count decreased rapidly (yes, there is a cap on the number of IPv4 addresses – the total count is 4,294,967,296). As this scarcity started to unfold, some brilliant people thought: “Hey, let’s think of new IP addresses that will never go out of stock!”. And so they did! This idea birthed the IPv6 type, and the number of IP addresses available is 340 trillion trillion trillion IP addresses. For those that can’t fathom the number, that’s a 34 followed by 38 zeros!

Anyway, that’s the nitty-gritty about IP addresses, and hopefully, you got an idea of what it does. Now, let’s get to the exciting part you came to find out:

Is a dedicated IP address worth it!?

Let’s define a few types of IP addresses used by the Web Hosting service:

Dedicated IP

A web hosting server can have many IP addresses responsible for different purposes: web service, mail service, malware protection service, web proxies, CDN, etc. When one IP address on the server is assigned to your domain name and all of the services related to it, then this IP address is considered as “dedicated“.

You will typically have a dedicated IP address when you are using a Cloud SSD VPS or Dedicated CPU solutions. These solutions are what people consider “premium” in the hosting world, and including a dedicated IP address is one of their perks.

Some hosting providers offer the option of setting up a dedicated IP address on a shared environment for an additional cost. Here at HostArmada, we have decided not to enable this option, and if you keep on reading – you will understand why!

Shared IP

A shared IP address is perhaps the most common one you will use. It works exactly like a dedicated IP address with only one difference – you are not the sole user of this IP, and other websites and services also use it. This entire process became possible when Virtual Hosting came into being a while back. Web hosting has not been so accessible and flexible ever since, and thanks to this fantastic technology, pretty much everyone can start their online experience at a very affordable price.

Don’t be repulsed by the term “shared IP address”. It is not as bad as it seems or as people make it out to be in many online articles, which completely scratch out shared IP addresses as many people consider them “malicious” or “insecure“. Keep on reading to get more details about the shared IP address in our comparison section.

Proxy IP

A proxy IP address is (in most cases) a shared IP address used by CDN providers such as Cloudflare, Sucuri, or Ezoic to offer various services to their users – Security, Speed, Optimization, etc. To get this IP address, you would typically need to use their nameservers. Even though you may have initially used your current host’s IP address, you will start utilizing the proxy IP when implementing the new nameservers. You may have issues with these IPs in sporadic cases because your current host’s Firewall could block them. On HostArmada, we ensure all commonly used third-service providers’ IP ranges are allowed so our clients can freely use them without any limitations.

Does the IP address of your website affect SEO: Shared vs Dedicated IP

Hey – you made it to the most exciting and most controversial part of this post – Shared IP versus Dedicated IP! So, the word around the web is that having a dedicated IP address improves your ranking and improves your website’s speed.

SEO

There is no hard evidence anywhere or official statement by search engines that this is the case. Moreover, a Google employee who works in the Webmaster Trends Analytics department confirmed that having a dedicated IP has no impact on rankings and his recommendation was on point:

“It’s widespread for sites to be on the same IP address. That’s the way the internet works. A lot of Content Delivery Networks (CDN) use the same IP address as well for different sites, and that’s also perfectly fine.”

John Mueller

“So what I recommend doing here is trying to take a step back and focus on fewer sites and make them strong, good, and unique. Populate them with great content and unique products, so then you don’t have this selection of many sites that are essentially doing the same thing.”

John Mueller

Here is a link to the video if you want to check out the entire webinar.

Time to put worries aside – your SEO and google rankings are entirely dependant on the quality of the content you produce, and the IP address itself will not impact it.

Remember when we said we’d help answer the question: “Does my IP address affect SEO and Google Rankings?”

Well, you got the long answer, but we’ll give you the short answer as well to be thorough: No!

WEB HOSTING SPEED

Now that we have debunked the “Does IP affect SEO?” myth – let’s go over to the next popular opinion out there, which states that a dedicated IP speeds up the site. Once HostArmada starts going, it is very hard to stop our momentum so this is why we’ll be providing you with even more helpful information!

Mildly put, this claim is completely absurd! Website speed is such a complex metric, and it revolves around so many things – if we had to mix in dedicated IP in the equation, then people would go insane! We at HostArmada care about speed and performance, and we have dedicated many articles that explain how clients should optimize their sites. The application we focus on is WordPress, as it is the most accessible and easy tool you can use to get your online presence going. 

Here is a selection of articles that we’ve handpicked and highlighted as useful for you to check out whenever possible:

HostArmada Optimization Category

HostArmada LiteSpeed Plugin Configuration

HostArmada Optimization Plugin Section

A dedicated IP address has no benefit whatsoever when it comes to speed, and you can rest assured that if you are using one of our Shared Hosting Plans, your website’s speed will run smoothly and fast even though it is using a shared IP address. On top of that, our hosting experts in the technical department will be happy to take a look and perform optimizations for your site and recommend various steppes you can take to bring the performance even higher!

EMAILS

You may wonder why the hosting community looks at the Shared IP address and Dedicated IP as two different things when they do the same thing practically!? What is the use of a dedicated IP exactly? A dedicated IP address has been useful for clients on Cloud SSD VPS or Dedicated CPU solutions in our experience. They can fully control the outcome of outgoing messages relayed through that IP. Managing a shared IP address responsible for mail delivery is mildly said – a nightmare. Hundreds or even thousands of users could be sending emails. If one of them manages to flag the IP address for spam – then everyone is screwed.

This is the moment when a dedicated IP address will come in handy. If you are running a legitimate business, highly reliant on emails, then a dedicated IP is all you need to ensure a smooth delivery. We at HostArmada have thought about this ever-growing email issue, and to remedy it – we have implemented a service that aims to reduce spam, improve deliverability and pretty much altogether remove the need for a dedicated IP address – SpamExperts Outgoing Filter. When you host your sites and emails of our shared servers, your outbound messages will pass through SpamExpert’s SpamCloud server, and the “shared IP address” will not take any role in the delivery.

SSL

A decade ago, you needed a dedicated IP address to install an SSL certificate on your domain. Back then, SSL certificates were not so prominent, and they were not required unless you are running an online store and most websites did not even use it on the entire site. They put an SSL on their checkout page to ensure that the buyers’ transactions and credit card details would be encrypted.

Due to the SNI system, you can install as many SSL certificates as you want on a single IP address because of Virtual Hosting.

Closing remarks on does IP affects SEO and google ranking?


There you have it – the “Does IP affect SEO?” myth has been debunked, and along with it all the myths revolving around dedicated IP addresses as well! Let’s go over all of the discussed topics related to shared and dedicated IP addresses:

  • Dedicated and Shared IP addresses practically do the same thing – the dedicated IP address only does for a single domain/service. At the same time, the “shared” is used by everyone on the server.
  • Using a Dedicated IP address has no impact on your website’s SEO or google rankings.
  • A dedicated IP address will not improve the speed of your website. Speed is a function of many things, such as well-optimized code and content along with server setup.
  • A dedicated IP address is useful when you want to control and manage your domain’s outbound emails. If using HostArmada, this won’t be a concern to you, as we use an OutBound Spam Filter that excludes the server’s IP from the equation.
  • Using a Dedicated IP for an SSL certificate is archaic and unnecessary in today’s modern times. Due to SNI, you can easily install as many SSL certificates for your domains using a shared IP address.

Hopefully, our post made you realize that you should not burden yourself with what your IP address is and focus on what is truly important to you – your website, its content, and your online presence as a whole.

HostArmada wishes you great success and continued positive growth for your online projects. If you have additional questions or require further clarification, feel free to reach back to us anytime!