Today, many business operators and entrepreneurs use private networks for various reasons. Popularly known as VPNs (virtual private networks), they are used in businesses for security, privacy and better accessibility. Employers use VPNs to grant remote access to confidential networks, websites and portals to their trusted employees. VPN services are also helpful for accessing geographically-restricted services like Skype (blocked in some Middle East countries). Private networks enable a business team to collaborate better, in spite of their geographical separations. It provides more room for cost saving and productivity.
Why do SEOs need private networks?
As is the case of any other business, SEO analysts use VPN connections to stay anonymous and hide their IP addresses. That raises another question – “Why would SEO analysts want to hide their identity or their real IP addresses?”
Here are some true facts as to why people in the SEO industry love to use proxy sites.
1. To keep an eye on your competitor’s development
SEO gurus have long been developing tools to measure the growth and success levels of their competitors. Some also try to analyze the reasons behind their competitor’s failures and learn from their mistakes.
Today, analyzing your competitor’s progress is as important as knowing your own business. However, you need to be on your toes — your rivals’ webservers may log your IP address and save it, thus helping your business rivals to trace your activities. On the other hand, if you are using a proxy server, you will be safer as your real identity is hidden. Always use a premium VPN service. HideMyAss, IPVanish and ExpressVPN are often distinguished as the most reliable VPN services. However, you are better off doing your homework to choose a service that best suits your business.
2. Social media agencies that outsource work
It is a well-known fact that social media agencies that outsource work use numerous Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and other social media accounts on their client’s behalf. These agencies normally work with different websites and services to promote their respective clients’ online businesses. Even though these agencies work genuinely on behalf of their clients, using several social media accounts in a single IP address can prove to be a fatal strategy. Such legitimate efforts can be detected as spamming and their accounts could be blocked by the respective social media platform, as a result.
VPN services can be a savior in these situations as well. If a social media analyst routes different accounts through different and unique proxy servers, his activities look natural and the whole process happens smoothly. Using private networks show that each activity happens from different IP addresses and, therefore, is a safer method.
3. SEO Agencies who often take to search engines for different queries
SEO agencies that work in the same office network and use different keyword-ranking software, tend to be a victim of search engine penalizations (often and popularly known as Google Penalty). Search engine penalization or Google penalties can be severe. If this were to happen to you, your IP address could be blocked, disabling you from making further quarries.
Again, the simple solution here is to use different IP addresses to show yourself more naturally.
4. To show as if you are from a different country
Several websites have censorship policies (popularly known as Internet Censorship). These websites / online services determine your location using your IP address and by checking commercial GEO-IP database. Google, the most popular and widely used search engine, features its own proprietary algorithms that can check user IP address and location.
There are several tools, SEO software and Internet services like Rank Tracker, WebCEO and Advanced Web Ranking, that are capable of tweaking parameters sent to Google. It can make your data appear to be from a different region. However, these are not convincing enough. Many SEO reports have shown mixed results with these software and tools.
Often, SEO experts have reported that Google tends to ‘penalize’ websites after determining several things related to the IP address. The search engine does this to improve their SERP personalization. As a result, more and more SMO and SEO promoters have started relying on proxy servers, depending on their location and the kind of business/service they are into.
To use or not to use proxy servers
So, are there any negative effects of changing your IP address?
Good news. A good number of SEO developers believe that changing your IP address has little or no effect on your site’s SEO performance. LeadQual, a popular marketing agency located in U.S., has recently switched its website to a new hosting service. Ever since, the company has been actively monitoring its search engine performance. It claims that it has observed no signs of decline with its SERPs. Surprisingly, the company has announced a slight improvement in overall rankings ever since making the shift.
If you think this is a stroke of luck, there are many examples of online businesses that have had similar stories. In most cases, rankings have either improved or witnessed no change at all.
So, if you’ve been worrying about using a private network and its effects on your site’s SEO performance, hopefully this post has enlightened you.