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The Impact of Web Hosting on SEO: Choosing the Right Host for Better Rankings

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SEO is an always-evolving thing. 

It’s not something you can set and forget—you need to work on it constantly to make sure you’re always ranking well and visible to potential clients. 

But there’s one thing that you may not have thought of—the impact of web hosting on SEO. 

Web hosting is something you choose upfront. 

From there, it’s all about the exciting stuff, like building a website and churning out content… 

And your web host is all but forgotten in the whole process. 

I believe in ticking all the boxes when it comes to putting myself out there to potential clients. 

If you agree, keep reading, because choosing the right web host can affect how your website ranks. 

Why Is SEO Important for a Website? 

Effective SEO helps internet browsers find your website and content easily. 

The better your SEO, the higher up your pages will appear in the search engine results. 

Almost 30% of browsers immediately choose the first link on the results page, and that number steadily drops the further down the list you go. 

By the time you get down to number 6ish, far fewer people are going to click on it. 

Optimizing your content for SEO helps it rank better, which means you’ll get more views. 

But not just any views—warm leads. 

When your SEO is on point, you’ll appear in search results to people who actually need what you’re offering and are searching for relevant keywords. 

You CAN get most of your traffic via paid ads, but it gets costly—SEO might take a little time, but it’s a cheaper way of reaching your target audience. 

The Impact of Web Hosting On SEO 

There are plenty of moving parts to good SEO, and web hosting is one of them. 

The impact of web hosting on SEO is bigger than you think because… 

Your web hosting is the platform upon which the performance of your website is built. 

Choose a poor web host, and your site will suffer from slow page loading speed, more downtime, and security vulnerabilities. 

The bad news is that each of those problems can negatively affect your website’s search engine ranking. 

You can do impeccable keyword research, write excellent content, and tick all the technical SEO boxes… 

But a poorly performing web host can undermine all your efforts. 

But if your site loads slowly, visitors will get impatient and leave, increasing your bounce rate and leading to a drop in rankings. 

Yes, Google and other search engines take these things into account when ranking you! 

Choosing a reliable web hosting company is like building on a solid foundation. 

It’s the bedrock of a stable and user-friendly experience. 

Here’s a rundown of the specific impact of web hosting on SEO: 

Speed and Performance 

Loading speed is a big factor in how well your website ranks. 

Search engines reward sites that load faster and penalize sites that have slow loading times. 

Slow loading times increase bounce rate, and search engines assume (correctly) that a high bounce rate means dissatisfied visitors. 

Your web host plays a big role in how fast your web pages load. 

Fast servers, solid infrastructure, and speed-boosting features (like a CDN) can give you a speed boost and in turn, a ranking boost. 


Downtime in itself is inevitable, but the more downtime your web host has, the worse you’ll be ranked. 

More downtime equals more chance for your site to be crawled while it’s down. 

And if Google catches your site while it’s down, you may be de-indexed temporarily, which means your site will be removed from search results entirely until it gets crawled again. 

This makes all your hard SEO work pointless and effectively stops organic web traffic from coming in. 

If our website is down often, Google may even crawl your site less often, which has a negative effect on your rankings. 

Web hosts that prioritize uptime are key. 

99.99% (“four nines”) is the industry standard, so I recommend avoiding web hosts with a lower uptime guarantee than that. 

Server Location 

The closer the web host’s servers are to your target audience, the better their experience will be on your website. 

For example, if your web host has a server in the UK, your site will load faster for UK visitors because the data doesn’t have to travel far. 

But for visitors from the US, it’ll take a bit longer as data has to travel from the server to the user’s browser. 

Most web hosts have servers throughout the world, but it’s worth checking. 

If you’re inadvertently using a web host without a server close to your audience, your SEO will suffer due to user dissatisfaction. 


Search engines like secure websites. 

If your web host provides robust security features, you can expect to rank higher. 

Mediocre web hosts with sub-par security will flag search engines and lead them to rank you lower. 

Search engines prefer not to promote websites that seem prone to data breaches, hacking, and other attacks. 

Double-check what security features your web host offers. 

A great web host will provide extra security measures like firewalls, SSL certificates, and malware detection. 

You can add your own extra security, but it’s much more effective if built on a good foundation from your web host. 

IP Reputation 

Another ranking factor is the reputation of the IP address of your server. 

If you’re using a web host with a negative reputation, your website is labeled guilty by association and knocked down the rankings. 

But being associated with a clean, shiny IP reputation makes your site look credible. 

Check your web host’s IP reputation. 

It could be negative if it hosts other sites known for spam or malicious online activity. 

Your website will then suffer despite your SEO efforts. 

How to Choose the Right Host for Better Rankings 

If you’re looking for a web host for the first time, tick these boxes to ensure you’re picking a good one that will boost your SEO efforts. 

If you’ve already got a host but they’re working against you, it’s never too late to change to a new one that helps your SEO instead. 

Here’s what to look for to maximize the positive impact of web hosting on SEO and minimize the negative! 

Reviews & Reputation

Take some time to check real-people reviews. 

Look for a host with plenty of positive feedback but analyze carefully to make sure it’s not bots. 

The more real-people reviews you can find, the higher the likelihood of the company being legit and decent. 

Keep an eye out—if tons of reviews seem to be posted on the same day, it could be a sign of fake reviews! 

Don’t skim past this step. 

Real feedback is invaluable, so check various sources. 

Start with the web host’s own website, then move on to sites like Trustpilot. 

Forums and Q&A sites like Reddit and Quora are also goldmines. 

Uptime & Reliability 

Make sure the web host you choose offers at least 99.99% uptime. 

I recommend not compromising on this! 

Sure, 99.9% sounds great. 

With “three nines” uptime, you can expect about 8.77 hours of downtime a year. 

That doesn’t sound too bad. 


Up that to 99.99% (“four nines”), and your annual downtime drops to around 52 minutes. 

And that difference is HUGE. 

If you choose a “three nines” provider, you’re losing an extra 7 ½ hours of uptime a year. 

How many sales can you lose in 7 ½ hours? 

Fast Page Loading Speed 

An excellent web host should guarantee page loading speeds of 2 seconds or less consistently. 

A fast server speed helps with this, so choose a host with solid-state drive servers. 

This is another thing that’s hard to gauge by simply taking a host’s word for it. 

When checking out reviews, look for information about the page loading speed. 

Real feedback will be your best friend here. 

Again, don’t compromise on this… 

More than 50% of your visitors will leave if your page hasn’t loaded within 3 seconds. 

So don’t give them that chance! 

Content Delivery Network (CDN) Integration 

A CDN is a valuable tool for distributing your content worldwide. 

That means your site’s data is close to almost any location, offering faster load times for all visitors. 

If you’re a small local business, then a CDN doesn’t really matter. 

But if your audience is global, then it’s practically a necessity. 

Choose a host that offers a CDN. 

Trust me, you never know where your traffic’s coming from, so this is a handy tool. 

It doesn’t matter if someone’s hopping on your site from the US, the UK, or Asia… 

It’ll load fast and give them a good experience. 

SEO Tools and Add-Ons 

Check if the host offers SEO tools and add-ons. 

These can offer valuable insight into keywords and rankings and help you optimize your site more effectively. 

You can install your own third-party apps and plugins, but if they come built-in, then the process is a little more streamlined. 

While you’re at it, now’s the time to learn more about SEO if you aren’t familiar with these tools! 

Price vs. Quality 

Don’t sacrifice quality for a lower price. 

Trust me—you’ll kick yourself if you choose a cheap web host and then get penalized because they can’t provide what you need. 

Double-check the long-term costs, too, because some hosts increase prices drastically after the first year. 

If you’ve got the budget, cloud hosting is the BEST. 

And you only pay for what you actually use, making it more affordable than it seems. 

Dedicated hosting is my sc

I recommend avoiding shared hosting, even though it’s cheap. 

Choose a moderately priced VPS host if you’re really strapped for cash. 

But make sure they tick all (or at least most) of the boxes on this list. 

To Sum Up 

The impact of web hosting on SEO is bigger than you think. 

But it’s easy to get around. 

Choose a top-quality web host, and you’ll have a great foundation to build on. 

It’s that simple. 

Happy host hunting!

About the author


Paul Wheeler

Paul Wheeler runs a web design agency that helps small businesses optimize their websites for business success. He aims to educate business owners on all things website-related at his own website, Reviews for Website Hosting.