February 24, 2012
In the online world, extreme traffic spikes and unfriendly server neighbors can crash your website as quick as a flash mob can turn a little dinner party into the rave of the year. If you are not ready for the traffic increase or are unaware of your IP neighbors, you are essentially putting your site and reputation on the line.
Let’s now imagine a little SEO story: You purchased a domain for your business, and then built a website filled with pretty pictures, a catchy rotating banner, a shopping cart, and for a while no one saw it. You then wake up from a dream suddenly realizing the huge importance of SEO and using social media. After about six months, you start to notice that your strategies
seem to be working. You have done your keyword research, written finely crafted meta tags, optimized photos and videos, and you have now begun to update your blog frequently. Your site has backlinks to support it and your local searches are perfect. All this hard work and patience is working because you are coming up on the first page of Google for your keywords, your blog has a following, the traffic to your site has increased, and so have your sales. You start planning parties for your Facebook friends, buying fancy cars, dreaming of Vegas vacations, when…
It all suddenly stops
In a panic, you start to wonder what happened. You think to yourself, “Everyone loved my video of my toddler wearing my company’s new Snugarooroo product while playing with a kitten, but now there is only darkness.” Like many modern internet users you start to do some online research and start wondering which of the following scenarios might apply to your possibly doomed and damned domain:
Possible Scenario 1: An Illegal Site Happens to be Your Neighbor
Your site is hosted on a shared IP and another website on this shared IP has just been banned due to illegal activities. Since you are on the same IP as the banned website you get shut down too. You no longer see traffic to your site because Google has also banned your IP address. On the other hand, you have bought a dedicated IP address but on a shared server. Unfortunately, you are still going to be banned. Realtime Blackhole Lists (RBLs) will recognize that your website and the illegal site are on the same shared server and will penalize both sites. Since you are on the same shared server as the malice site(s) you will be taken off Google and you will face a reduction in your traffic and ultimately your profits when (and if) you get your site back up and running again.
Possible Scenario 2: Rush Hour Happens
None of the sites on the shared IP or server have been banned or labeled illegal but all of a sudden it stops anyway. A video you made, goes viral, a blog post you made hits it big, or perhaps becomes your biggest supporter. Regardless of what happened, or what you did, traffic on your site has increased so much it has slowed your website down to a halt and possibly crashed your server. The massive amount of traffic has literally created a rush hour scenario where your car (or website) does not move, does not upload, does not work. Because you are on a shared IP and/or server the hardware couldn’t keep up with the traffic and has collapsed. Perhaps the traffic doesn’t crash the website but slows it down so much you can’t engage the potential customer. The Rush Hour experience has left you stuck on the road to not making you money.
Famous examples of the Rush Hour dilemma: Coca-Cola and Acura’s websites crashes during the recent Super Bowl due to increase in traffic. Act of Valor’s site experienced intense delays during the Super Bowl also. During the recent SOPA Bill drama multiple senators’ sites such as Mark Begich (D – AK), Barbara Boxer (D – CA), and Patrick Leahy (D – VT) crashed or nearly slowed to a halt due to the anti-SOPA protestors. Perhaps the most famous example of all is Tumblr, a site that experiences crashes so frequently they actually have a mascot for when it happens.
Possible Scenario 3: Unchangeable Page Rank Happens:
You did all the SEO you could, and have a rather decent page rank, but no matter what you do, it will not improve. You seem to be at a virtual standstill and you have just won an award for the world’s slowest web site page speed. Your shared server and IP are preventing you from reaching your fullest potential and your ego has taken a beating. You learn that the slower the website loads, the harder it is for Google to index your website, which is leading to fewer inner pages getting picked up, lower SERP rankings, and domain authority. And because a shared server is slow, your page speed, and your page rank are suffering like a commuter at rush hour on the NYC 6 train. A shared server and shared IP only hurt your page rank, load time, and bank account, and are pretty good at getting you nowhere fast.
The Solution: A Dedicated Server Happens: The Sky Clears and You are Back in Internet Heaven
While you are going gaga for Googling “server solutions,” you come across what seems to be the ultimate answer to your problem – a dedicated server! Further inquiry teaches you that a dedicated server is a server placed on a network for a specific purpose, person, or company. It is generally hosted in a highly secure data center where it is maintained by expert IT support and equipped with state-of-the-art technology to monitor environmental conditions and server performance. Thrilled by the opportunity to get the technology tweaking out of your own hands, you get your dedicated server and spend the rest of your days as happy-as-a-honeymooner, knowing that your data, connectivity, and online visibility are assured. Your dedicated server is customized to fit your needs and your website’s needs so that you never end up in an internet black hole and you know that your data is safe.
If you are looking for a banned-less IP address and incomparable uptime, higher page ranks, more traffic, and more profit from your website, dedicated hosting may be your destiny. My suggestion? Get a dedicated server as soon as possible and gain a long term secure hosting solution that will grow with your business.
Samantha Walt does SEO and Social Media for Colocation America. With a passion for technology and internet marketing, Samantha uses her knowledge to help Colocation America reach new markets.