The following is a guest blog post by a friend an SEO expert, in response to a rant I made on facebook a few months ago. It was related to a pre-sales question we see. “I need a dedicated ip address for better SEO, can you provide me with a dedicated ip address”?

Back in December my friend and ZippyKid owner, Vid Luther and I had an interesting discussion on Facebook regarding dedicated IPs and SEO.

The discussion stemmed from the original thought provoking post by Vid:

Dear ‘SEO consultants’, Please stop telling people to put their sites on different IP’s. Every time I hear this, I tell our customers to find different SEO consultants.

Being an SEO Consultant myself, I took offense to Vid’s post and wanted to clarify how SEO, & Dedicated IPs work together. From our conversation on Facebook, Vid invited me to share a few thoughts on the ZippyKid Blog.

Now, I respect the point Vid is making and it’s correct most of the time…BUT there are scenarios where a dedicated IP for hosting your website makes sense. These scenarios are what I want to highlight and review to help you make an informed decision before requesting a dedicated IP from your hosting provider.

Three Considerations of Hosting and IP addresses for your website.

The ip address that’s assigned to your website, depends on your hosting provider. Providers are assigned IP addresses by ARIN, and astute users can figure out where things are hosted by just looking at the ip addresses of some popular providers.

Performance & Speed

There is a good possibility that your website shares the ip address of another high traffic website. If you’re hosting your site on a shared hosting platform that does not do a good job of allocating resources, your site could be slow. You may ask, “Why does site speed even impact SEO?” Well, it’s because the speed of your site impacts your SERP (search engine ranking position) with Google. Keep in mind, a unique ip address does not mean your site will load faster.

Security

Your website could share the ip address with another site that has been marked as malware. Some network security programs will “null route” requests to those ip addresses, which would make your website unreachable. Some anti-virus software may mark any website with the same ip address as malware, this may raise false alarms against your website. Most modern browsers may display an alert which reads, “This site may harm your computer” next to every link for that website which appears in search results. You can learn more about what to do if you are infected on this Google answer.

SSL

SSL encrypts traffic to your site, it’s usually used by e-commerce sites, and sites where personal information is shared. The latest version of SSL doesn’t require a unique ip address, but due to older browsers ( mostly on Windows XP) not supporting this, it’s still safer/best practice to get a unique ip address.  This doesn’t affect SEO directly, but is too large of a reason not to mention.

editors note: I recommend SSL on all sites, your password can be seen in clear text when you log in from a public wifi network. So, WordCamps, Starbucks, other conferences. There are also things done with SSL that make your website faster. 

 

The Facts on SEO and Shared IP addresses

Now let’s assume you have gone with a reliable and trusted shared hosting provider for your site. You’re down to really one concern that you have to take into account: Google penalties due to links or malware.

So, first off let’s review a fact that Matt Cutts clarified back in 2006: “… there was recently a discussion on a NANOG (North American Network Operators Group) email list about virtual hosting vs. dedicated IP addresses. They were commenting on the misconception that having multiple sites hosted on the same IP address will in some way affect the PageRanks of those sites. There is no PageRank difference whatsoever between these two cases (virtual hosting vs. a dedicated IP).”

In 2010, Matt Cutts made a video which validates that shared hosting is still fine. But now there are situations where you could be at risk. In the event your site is hosted on a server with many sites that are considered “spammy,” then yes, your site could be negatively impacted.  Here is the video Matt Cutts made that clarifies Google’s position on shared hosting:

Let’s put this new found knowledge to work in a practical example. Say you have a site named abc.com and it shares a host and IP with a large WordPress Multisite that is being used as a “link farm” to generate backlinks to “spammy” sites to try and gain position in the SERPs. In this scenario, your site is in jeopardy of being penalized for sharing the same IP as this “link farm” because of the poor quality and violations in which the other thousands of sites on the network have partaken.

In 2012, Google released their Penguin update which improved their search ranking algorithm and started to take into account sites participating in a link network. There is a great post on the YouMoz Blog by Ethan Lyon that covers how to check if you are part of a link network.

How to Monitor Your Website for Issues

Utilize a Reverse IP Lookup

It’s easy to look up and see who else is hosted on your site. There are plenty of free tools out there to do a reverse IP lookup. I personally use http://www.yougetsignal.com/tools/web-sites-on-web-server/.

sites hosted with espn

Other sites sharing the same dedicated IP as ESPN.com

Let’s take a look at a few sites using this tool to see what their hosting configuration is:

  • zippykid.com – the only site hosted on their IP (also all SSL)
  • iamMIKE.co (my personal blog) – has 41 different sites hosted alongside it.
  • ESPN.com – Has 999 other sites hosted with it.

Bing also provides another trick to look at what sites are hosted with you. For example, in a Bing search enter “ip: 50.116.59” and you will see results of all the sites that are hosted alongside my personal site at another premium WordPress hosting company, WP Engine.

Monitor Google Webmaster Tools

Make sure you have your site added to Google Webmaster Tools and email alerts are turned on. This way you will be sure to be alerted by Google Webmaster Tools if they send you a warning.  Search Engine Land has a nice example of what your warning from Google will look like if it does happen.

How To Resolve Link Warnings

In the event you discover a problem or are notified by Google in Google Webmaster Tools take the follow two steps:

  1. Notify your host and ask to be moved to a new server with a new IP.
  2. Prepare and submit a Reconsideration Request in Google Webmaster Tools.

Conclusion on Shared IPs and SEO

At the end of the day, most websites will not need to be concerned about shared hosting and not having a dedicated IP negatively affecting their SEO. There are exceptions to the rule, but in general, do not feel that you must have a dedicated IP address. Always be on the offense and protect your site frequently by checking Google Webmaster Tools and monitoring your co-hosted sites.

I reached out to one my most trusted SEO Expert friends: Scott Offord.  In Scott’s expert opinion there are so many more things you should concern yourself with first before focusing on a dedicated IP address.

“Having a dedicated IP is not something to worry about in regards to SEO. There are other more important things to think about. Just take a look at Google’s Webmaster Guidelines for example.”

If you feel that having a dedicated IP address is a must have, make sure you understand WHY so that you and your hosting provider can work together to put a solution in place that works for you.

Keep in mind that if you’re reading this after the day it was written…something could have changed. SEO best practices are always changing. Feel free to reach out on twitter and let me know what’s going on.

-Mike

About Mike Zielonka

mike zielonka seo expertMike Zielonka is the Director of Web Strategy and Co-Founder at Tuna Traffic and a Satisfied ZippyKid Customer. You can continue the conversion with Mike on twitter at @mikezielonka.  He spends a significant portion of his time coaching Tuna Traffic customers on web strategy and building custom client web presences. Mike’s expertise is concentrated in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Social Media and WordPress Development. In addition, he is well versed in the development of PageLines, a leading edge WordPress Theme Framework.  One more thing…Mike LOVES pizza with extra cheese.

61 thoughts on “Do you really need a dedicated IP address for better SEO?

  1. Matthew Egan

    Oh Michael! Michael, Michael, Michael! You’re killing me here.

    The IP of your website has next to zero impact on your SEO. Google knows that dozens if not hundreds of website use services like ZippyKid, or like Rackspace to host their website, and more often than not those websites will share the same IP address, sometimes the IP addresses change as time goes on, DNS gets updated, what have you. Google knows that this is just part of the internet world and that you cannot hold the actions of one person against others who are unaware they’re even in the same network/hosting environment as these other folks.

    When IP addresses matter is when links are involved, as links are the driving force behind SEOs success. Only about 20% of what you do to your actual website will have any impact on your Search Engine Rankings, and 80% of the “SEO Tasks” fall in the “Off Site Optimization” category, with a major component of that being the quantity, quality, and relevance of the incoming links from other websites pointed at yours.

    Google DOES CARE about the IP addresses of the websites linking TO you, and this is an important distinction because YOUR IP address doesn’t matter, but the IP addresses of the folks linking to you DOES matter. It matters because Google wants to see variety, they want to see that you’re popular not just among 20 different websites all hosted in the same place, but across dozens or hundreds of different websites, with different owners, who all decided to link to you for one reason or another and each unique IP address linking to you, what SEOmoz tracks as “Incoming C-Blocks” (AAA.BBB.CCC.DDD numbers in an IP Address) is the number of unique C-Block IP Addresses that are counted as linking to you.

    I remember this specific case in question, this was nearly a year ago wasn’t it? I’d talked with Vid about this instance as well and it turned out that the potential customer wanted to host about twenty different websites, but he wanted to cross link those websites to and from eachother to essentially have twenty built in links to and from each of his sites. He wanted to build his own little link network to scam Google’s identification of IP addresses.

    Per the above, when you get 5 links from different websites, but all of those websites are hosted in the same place, Google assumes that perhaps those websites are all owned by the same person, so they devalue those links because they do not have a clear diversity in C-Block or IP Address (or whatever term you want to use for a unique incoming backlink).

    So if you want a great place to host your website, somewhere that is REALLY fast for WordPress websites (which is my favorite CMS) then ZippyKid is a fantastic option for you even if your site might live on the same IP address as several other sites. BUT if what you’re trying to do is create twenty different websites, with twenty different IP addresses, so that you can build your own mini Link Network and try and trick ol’ Google? Yea, as Vid said; “we’re not a good host for him.”

    You raise some great points about security, and malware, etc, but none of these things are actually SEO, and it would be incredibly rare for a large enough ratio of a given shared IP address to be flagged as malware for it to actually impact the other sites in that particular “hosting neighborhood”. It’s like that one guy on the block who never mows his lawn, he’s annoying but he doesn’t bring your home value down, but if everyone started ignoring their curb appeal (or Google appeal in this scenario) only then would it actually make a difference.

    So unless 99.2% of ZippyKid’s customers are secretly MalWare Script Kiddy Hackers, phreaking through analogue phones to disrupt the internets, you’re absolutely fine hosting on a shared IP as long as the host itself is fast, which I know ZippyKid (as an example) is.

    1. Todd Herman Ent. (@SEO__Company)

      Sorry but why would anyone with half a brain invest thousands of hard earned dollars (or tens of thousands for corporations) into a clients on/off page optimization and risk having some other Spam SEO blacklist the same ip. It is 100% safer and faster to have a different, dedicated c class ip for each website you optimize. Unless you own a VPS server and control the whole c class, then its safe.

  2. Mike Zielonka

    Hi Matthew.

    We are lucking to have companies like Vid’s ZippyKid or Austin’s WP Engine. I trust them both with my business but most other hosts do not take care of your needs like they do.

    But this post isnt just for ZippyKid customers…it’s for all folks on the web that need education on what to consider.

    Think about this example…Say your an Marketing Agency and encourage your customers to cross link to each other…you could easy create a honest accidental link farm with out trying to do anything blackhat. Thus, this would be a time it’s important to consider how you handle your hosting for your business and customers. A good SEO would see this pattern right away and know how to handle it to ensure he is playing offense with Google to protect his clients. 🙂

  3. Ben Metcalfe

    So we all agree dedicated IP is good for SSL (although that’s about security, nothing to do with SEO).

    The other two reasons are:

    1) that your site might get black listed by Google in browsers as hosting malware, and
    2) that you might be sharing an IP address with a large heavy-resource site

    Neither of these make sense. While you’re right an ISP could null-route an IP address, the issue you then allude to – Google saying in your browser that a site is hosting malware – that is done by domain and not IP.

    And if a server is hosting a heavy-resourced site, getting a static/dedicated IP address doesn’t really mean anything because a new IP address doesn’t mean a new server. If you ask for a dedicated IP address it will probably still be assigned to the same server as before, and you’ll still be affected by a large-resource heavy site. Plus services like ZippyKid work in such a way that that kind of issue is mitigated, managed and taken care of.

    With all that in mind, respectfully, there isn’t anything here which suggests a dedicated IP address is good for SEO, other than your contrarian position.

  4. Matthew Egan

    @Mike – You lost me at “an honest link farm.”

    “A good SEO” would NEVER recommend to real businesses that they could improve their SEO by cross-linking (ie reciprocal links) between each other. Not only does this create a situation where companies are linking to each other who have nothing in common, but it’s also creating a pattern for Google to follow, and if all of your SEO clients are linked to by the same sources, in a clear pattern, that is the easiest thing to spot via Google and devalue, by participating in that “link exchange” as they call them, you’re hurting every single site involved, and I pray to God you aren’t charging people for that kind of late nineties garbage.

    You’ve basically admitted to putting all of your clients at risk by cross linking unrelated companies to each other via outdated reciprocal tactics and dangerous link network schemes. Gold star for you sir! Friends don’t let friends use Link Networks! Patterns of any kind ARE BAD, true link building is all about diversity.

    @Ben – Yea, I feel like generally Mike’s post was “Vid said that Dynamic IPs don’t matter for SEO, so I’m going to show him how wrong he is with my big ol’ SEO brain” and then he even reached out to his expert friend, Scott Offord, he was told that dynamic IPs aren’t a big worry at all for SEO, and nothing anyone should be spending time worrying about.

    Clearly the end point we’ve all learned is… Only Black/Grey Hat SEOs care about Dynamic IPs because they’re using them for something moronic like a link network, and should immediately be ignored and zero of their advice followed because doing so could be detrimental to your rankings and your business.

    Maybe Mike can guest post in the future with a jarring update on the state of Directory Spamming, or a modern guide to proper Keyword Density expectations?

    Also thanks to tools like http://www.OpenSiteExplorer.org real SEOs can quickly use your link network to identify the cross linking and use that list as instant leads to call, because showing a company the dangers of a link network, and then showing them how they’re involved in one is a great way to drum up a little new business. Using a link network is the fastest way for an SEO to lose all their clients to other smarter SEOs, and your boss should be terrified if you’ve actually done what you suggest above. There is absolutely no such thing as an “honest link farm”.

    Seriously though Mike, SEOmoz’s MozCon is coming this July 8-10th up in Seattle, I seriously hope you consider going so you can learn some tactics that don’t involve reciprocal links or link networks, these are truly dangerous and you should be tarred, feathered and hung from a tree outside of SXSWi as warning to impressionable hipsters for charging businesses in 2013 for the execution of such outdated and hazardous techniques.

    You can even save money on your MozCon attendance by registering early! http://www.seomoz.org/mozcon

  5. Vid Luther

    Ben, I agree 100%. I don’t think anyone is saying a dedicated IP is good for SEO. As the start of this post suggests, whenever someone tells me they need a unique ip for SEO purposes, I want them to find a new SEO consultant.

    I just needed someone other than myself who’s not an SEO expert to say it, with enough authority, so we can now point our pre-sales people to this :).

  6. Mike Zielonka

    Hi Ben!

    I just want to make sure it was clear that as I stated in the conclusion, that you will not need to be concerned with not having an dedicated IP for your site but there are a few exceptions. I wrote this piece to serve as an education piece to help folks think about this small little detail before making any decisions. 🙂

    For your 1st point…I’ve yet to find a credible source that Google does or does not reference the site IP during it’s detection process. Since it’s not clear…I consider it something to consider.

    As for your 2nd point…I wish I could say this is a fact..I really really do. But there are still shitty hosts out there hosts out there that do not know what they are doing and put your site at risk due to a poor infrastructure.

    I wish everyone on the internet would just host at WP Engine and ZippyKid like me. Then we could focus on going on the innovation offense hard core rather then the security defensive. :/

  7. Mike Zielonka

    @Matthew – Please re-read my conclusion “…most websites will not need to be concerned about shared hosting and not having a dedicated IP negatively affecting their SEO. There are exceptions to the rule, but in general, do not feel that you must have a dedicated IP address”. Your saying I am recommending dedicated IPS which I am not unless you have met certain conditions.

    This post is ment to be an educational post to all levels of skill. Not everyone is a SEO Kung Fu master and I want to walk folks though the list of key points they need to consider around this topic using examples they can understand. The goal of this post is to educate folks around the topic of dedicate IPs, Shared Hosting, & SEO.

    I’m not sure why you have stated I “basically admitted to putting all of your clients at risk”. All i did was give you an tangible example that could easily be understood if for some reason you want to have a good ol fashion SEO debate…lets do it…but let’s not get nasty about it.

    Most of the considerations I mention do not apply to most folks but without hard numbers I could not give an concrete % of how many people need to consider some of these points. It’s not 0% of all sites but it’s not 100% of all sites either.

    Just pause for a moment and think about someone that doesn’t know SEO like you or I do…Could you see them accidentally setting up a micro link farm…I sure could…I’ve folks’s frustrations in forums that have to deal with Google even though they didnt do anything wrong purposefully.

    1. Matthew Egan

      People get into trouble with Google because somebody like you writes a post about how they can gain more customers by doing something stupid like joining a link network, especially when someone calling themselves an expert says it’s the “honest” way to do it.

      You are the type of SEO that experienced marketers warn people about, and the type of SEO who gets the industry in trouble with nonsense like pairing the words “honest” and “link farm” together in the same statement.

  8. Scooter

    Matthew, Matthew, Matthew. You’re killin’ me. The name of the post is: “Do you really need a dedicated IP address for better SEO?” The whole point is simply to demystify the notion that you need a dedicated IP to segregate your site so you can beat your competitors in the search engines.

    I don’t think Mike is “the type of SEO that experienced markets warm people about”.

    1. Matthew Egan

      Quoting Mike’s blog: “Being an SEO Consultant myself, I took offense to Vid’s post and wanted to clarify how SEO, & Dedicated IPs work together.”

      So a Facebook conversation months ago, about how Dynamic IPs didn’t matter, had our pal Michael so OFFENDED that he had to write a whole blog post about it, where he talks about things that have very little impact on SEO, and then he goes on to say this:

      “Say your an Marketing Agency and encourage your customers to cross link to each other…you could easy create a honest accidental link farm with out trying to do anything blackhat”

      WHAT?! Not only does Mike not seem to grasp the intricacies of “you’re” vs. “your” (a personal pet peeve, sure, but still a sign of low intelligence) but then he implies that you can somehow accidentally participate in a link farm? Clearly this Marketing Agency that “your” a part of in Mike’s example, told their clients to do this… so… where is the accident?

      There is no such thing as an “honest link farm” let alone an accidental one. The consultant in question, which I pray to God is not him (for his clients sake), directly told these folks to link to each other and to do that because these links would boost their SEO and help them generate new business.

      It is the desire for new leads, new business, more money, that causes people to listen to stupid SEOs who do stupid things like participate in link exchanges, link farms and link networks, and those are the exact SEOs that people should be warned, threatened, extorted, and religiously manipulated into staying as far away from as humanly possible.

      I’m sure Mike means well, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t need A LOT of additional training before he should be anywhere near a clients website, or giving advice on a subject he clearly only vaguely grasps, which yes, makes him the most dangerous kind of SEO around… an ignorant one. (You can hear it in how he doesn’t understand the difference between a hosting environment and an IP address, the way he says it, he thinks you can change your phone number and somehow that also moves your entire house. That isn’t how it works.)

      Black Hat SEOs at least TRY to cover their tracks, but the Ignorant SEOs don’t even realize that what they’re doing is wrong, thus they’re the ones most likely to get caught, and when that happens, it’s the client that suffers, not the SEO, because there’s always another idiot ready to sign on and try anything for the chance at greater revenue.

      Think of me like the little kid from the Sixth Sense, only instead of dead people I see Bad SEOs, and they walk around not realizing that their Bad at SEO, so they write blog posts anyway.

    2. Matthew Egan

      And saying retarded as an insult to someone is…. I guess you’re not shooting for classy either? Hey we have that in common! I did at least say it was a pet peeve!

      You want the truth? Am I a troll? If being annoyed by somebody spreading bad information that can cost real businesses real money, and can create damaged websites, damaged domain profiles, that someone like me then has to come in and repair once they’ve been penalized… if being annoyed by bad SEOs spreading their badness, rubbing their SIDS ridden junk all over my internet? Yea, if that makes me a troll, then saddle up baby cause we’re going all the way to Orgrimmar!

      EVERYONE should pause when a Bad SEO says something stupid, we should pause, we should point, and we should call them out on it. It’s the ethical thing to do. Maybe, just maybe, he’ll do a little research before trying to “educate” others about a topic he clearly barely understands himself.

      “Fake it till you make it” is a wonderful concept, taught to us by business coaches and motivational speakers, but when the reality damages businesses? When someone “faking it” gives bad advice and causes honest hardworking folks harm? Yea, that is what is truly OFFENSIVE here “Scooter”, as SEO is bad enough without the Ignorant leading the Blind.

      “Honest Link Farms” HAH! I’ll be laughing about that one for a while. Would it have still been cheating if Lance Armstrong had been “honest” about his doping from the start?

      You guys crack me up.

  9. Vid Luther

    Just an FYI, please wrap up your arguments by midnight tonight. This site and all our sites are going down for an hour, due to planned upgrades. Or maybe, I just want you all to cheel out and get some sleep. 🙂

  10. Mike Zielonka

    @Matthew in closing we are saying the same thing…you closed your first post with:

    “you’re absolutely fine hosting on a shared IP as long as the host itself is fast, which I know ZippyKid (as an example) is.”

    And I closed with:

    “most websites will not need to be concerned about shared hosting and not having a dedicated IP negatively affecting their SEO. There are exceptions to the rule, but in general, do not feel that you must have a dedicated IP address.”

    I respect the fact you dislike my examples, but at the end of the day we are making the same recommendation with different words.

    If any of my considerations are wrong in my post, please share the facts with me so I can update the post.

    Mike

    PS – Since you post on a lot of posts…you might want to jump on the top ranking on google for dedicated IP and SEO http://www.seoinc.com/seo-blog/dedicated-ip-address-to-improve-google-seo/ and argue with him too

  11. Atul Bansal

    very detailed post and nice to see Matt video also for the same.
    I can see my traffic dropping from last few days and was now tinking of switching to VPS and having a dedicated IP address.

    Now, will ponder on my decision.
    Also, the yougetsignal link is worth share. I just checked my site on this link and found, some spammy websites sharing my IP address

  12. Thomas Zickell

    When Google crawls a website, they extract a lot of information about that website. One piece of data they extract is the IP address of where that website is hosted. This data is one of the ways they can determine if a group of websites may be run by the same person.

    Websites that are on the same C class IP address are probably hosted by the same company, This implies that they may also be owned by the same person, because when you set up hosting with a company, they will have a set of IP addresses available and many will put multiple websites into the same C class by default.

    This isn’t a strict rule because a common option for hosting your website is a shared hosting package where you can share the same IP address (or range of IP addresses) with websites owned by other people who are on the same package. However, it can be an indicator to Google, and they can look for other signals that multiple websites linking to each other are owned by the same person.

    One of these signals lies in the fact that Google itself is a domain registrar and can see the details of who has registered a domain. They can also look for things like matching physical addresses or matching phone numbers etc.

    1. Matthew Egan

      Thomas please stop spreading missinformation.

      Again, the reason this particular question arose initially is because the client wanted to be able to link to himself from his own websites, but if those websites all shared a C Block in common, then Google would see that those websites (and thus those links) were from the same place, same person, etc, and thus not true editorially placed links by unique people.

      Thousands of websites host on the same IP address, as the majority of small and medium websites (even some large ones) are hosted in a shared hosting environment. Per your logic above, any spammy activity of one ZippyKid customer, would effect every other ZippyKid customer, which obviously, Google is smarter than that.

      Unique IP addresses are relevant from an inbound link standpoint AND NOT from a hosting standpoint. If you have many links pointing to your website from different websites, but all those sites are hosted in the same place, on the same IP address, then that matters to Google because Google does not want to reward people for building a bunch of BS sites pointing to yourself.

      Google worries about the IP addresses of your LINKS to assess full value, but HOSTING on a shared IP has zero impact. If you’re not running a link network, you’ll be fine.

      Nothing to see here… move along. =)

  13. blueprint

    You did not understand what I was saying.
    One of these signals lies in the fact that Google itself is a domain registrar and can see the details of who has registered a domain. They can also look for things like matching physical addresses or matching phone numbers Whois etc.

    All of this means that when you’re running link analysis on your website, you should take a look at the number of C class IP addresses that are linking to you and compare this to the number of domains linking to you.

    Matthew I’m going to ask you to read that again what I have written. I agree that you are in no danger whatsoever of being linked to people if on Zippy kid or another host of this quality. You do understand that shared hosting if it’s junk hosting allows for people to use in a record as an e-mail address.
    If somebody abuses that a record based e-mail address you could end up with it blacklisted IP something which is impossible on every managed WordPress host that I know of.

    What I stated was true and regardless of you telling me to stop spreading misinformation when everything I said as fact makes me think you went way too far in assuming I was saying people that people hosted on a network like this are in some sort of danger I never said that. Please do not put words in my mouth

    I also want to tell you I really think it’s offensive what you said about mistaking your and you’re. Is not a sign of low intelligence however the fact that it’s a pet peeve of yours.

    That only shows you are neurotic. I’m watch as your neuroses bothers you to a point where you have to cast blame on others and attempt to belittle them only to make yourself feel better?
    You want to call me stupid okay I messed up that stuff all the time but I have my PhD in chemical engineering and I don’t care what some guy on the web calls me.

    Regardless what you say I’m not going to deviate from the facts which are under certain circumstances a shared IP address can be very bad for any website. I want to make clear the circumstances are not present on this network.

    If you respond me with some sort of banter I will not respond back as I actually have things to do and have no interest in a fight.

    1. Matthew Egan

      The core issue here “blueprint” is that SEO information is incredibly specific, and with that, slight miss-understandings can lead to businesses burning tens of thousands of not millions of dollars in either expenses or lost revenue because they follow the feedback or advice such as that written above in the original post.

      I am anti-blogging about SEO for the sake of blogging about SEO but in the end making no point.

      People LOVE to hear themselves talk, much like yourself, who jumped in to contribute pretty much nothing that wasn’t already covered above and repeat the INCORRECT theorem that your hosted IP address can matter. It cannot, maybe, in a one in a million chance that something gets black listed, blah blah blah, sure. There is a statistically impossible chance of something causing the shared IP address to get blacklisted. Ok.

      But the problem is, the only content of this post should be “Don’t worry about YOUR IP Address when considering hosting, instead, worry about the diversity of the LINK SOURCES that are pointing to your website. Let me simplify that further…

      Don’t worry about YOUR IP, worry about YOUR LINKS C Blocks.

      That is the takeaway here, but these eighty two paragraph BS rants from people who want to sound smart are trying to muddy the water, but what that does is confuse people into making decisions based on statistically impossible and satirically improbable happenings instead of doing things that actually benefit their business, push that “Good To Great” flywheel etc.

      And if not knowing the proper usage of “your” and “you’re” are not a sign of low intelligence, certainly continuing to argue with me is.

      Don’t worry about YOUR IP Address, worry about your link DIVERSITY.

  14. mikezielonka

    Like I said in the conclusion of the post:

    “..MOST websites will not need to be concerned about shared hosting and not having a dedicated IP negatively affecting their SEO. There are exceptions to the rule, but in general, do not feel that you must have a dedicated IP address.”

    Thomas – Your exactly right when you state “what you say I’m not going to deviate from the facts which are under certain circumstances a shared IP address can be very bad for any website.” No one here is stating that you have to have a dedicated IP but there are certain situations where it makes sense. 🙂

    I do not believe that anyone in the comments has been “worried” about their IP address. They are just doing the right thing by checking to making sure there is nothing to be concerned about for their unique situation.

  15. Olivia

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  16. Yours Truly

    Stumbled across this during a search for the subject matter and would like to thank everyone for their input. Mr. Egan: your words are harsh but true. Mr. Zielonka: as a fellow Polak, I feel obligated to tell you that it’s very important to use “your and “you’re” correctly if you expect to be taken seriously (you continue to make the mistake, including in your last post).

  17. feemo

    There was some interesting discussion going on here. I don’t know if I’m dumber or smarter for having read it, as it relates to SEO. As for all of you grammarians, EVERYONE of you with more than three sentences posted has some form of a grammatical error. Before you criticize anyone about their ability to write or intelligence, etc. watch your back. You have fused sentences, comma splices, run-on sentences, misspelled words, and I could go on and on. But, me come this place for SEO talk, not anglish lesson.

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  23. Mat Sadler

    I have a client that wants about 15 websites for his business. Simply because his business covers a lot of areas and his current website is confusing because of this. So I’ll be creating 15 or so specialist sites. I’ll be hosting them all on the same server, and presumably they’ll all link to each other (because they are related, not to create a link farm).

    My question is will any of this have a negative impact on SEO for these sites?

  24. Matthew Egan

    Yes, you’re basically creating your own link network. Each of those 15 websites will have to rank separately as each domain would have its own unique authority, vs. having a shared authority in having the website setup on one shared domain and just setting up a page hierarchy for the 15 different topics.

    If the websites are going to cross link to each other, you’re that exception where having unique IP Addresses is a plus because yes, you are creating a link network, and the only way to not have that penalty is by not cross linking the sites between each other or having the unique IPs.

    Google isn’t a fan of companies having multiple websites when they don’t need to, if you can talk your client out of doing that, I certainly would. It’s just not currently favorable with the modern algos.

    Cheers!

  25. mikezielonka

    Hi Matt.

    That is a small number and if you keep the links “natural” you should be fine. The best advice I have is to be sure to measure key SEO metrics to ensure there are no drops due to links google misinterprets as spammy.

  26. Mat Sadler

    well they’re not clone sites, they will all be different. They want multiple websites because different facets of the business will target different clientele. So it’s not just a matter of different topics, the marketing for each site will be different. One site will be fairly corporate in look and feel, another may be fairly trendy, and so on.

    Is it better if I just avoid links between them all?

    Thanks for the responses by the way.

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  31. Ruud

    Hi guys, my situation sort of resembles Mat’s with the major difference being the fact that my 15 sites are all on the same topic: they’re homepages of 15 different healthcare providers that offer the same service but in different cities. I’ll provide some further context below.

    The thing that binds these healthcare providers -apart from their job obviously- is the fact that they are all licensed by the same institution. This institution has asked me to build all these 15 websites and I was going to organize its hosting through simple, affordable shared webhosting. However, I’m afraid that in my case the websites are at least clone-like, since website structure and all that is pretty much the same. Sure, texts may differ a little since they’re not direct copies.. but they’re still all on the same subjects. Furthermore, they want me to link each site to a number of others. This makes sense from their perspective since they want visitors of the website of healthcare provider X in a certain city to also be able to easily visit the sites of the healthcare providers in nearby cities so the website visitor has some sort of choice in who to go to for medical help.

    Considering the fact that I am ordered to link all these websites to each other (and thus thereby create a link network), does this mean that in my situation using a different dedicated IP-address for each site might benefit me in terms of SEO? But if so, wouldn’t this require me to host each site at a different hosting provider (since I assume each hosting provider is assigned a certain IP-range, so getting sufficient “IP address difference” in terms of the blocks you spoke of can only be obtained through using various hosting providers) ?

    (PS: I have read all comments above and am trying to learn more about this topic, so I apologize if this question contains some weird assumptions about the subject of using dedicated IP’s for SEO purposes).

    I really appreciate any feedback you may give me. This would help me do a better job for my client.

  32. Bryon

    Hi Mike thanks for the article.

    I have been learning SEO through online seo checkup software and found your site by searching for solutions to IP Canonicalization Test. My sites have been failing this and the various htaccess conditions I have tried don’t seem to resolve it. Could this be because I need a dedicated IP address?

    Best,
    Bryon

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  34. Sharon

    How do I know my sites IP address? I had an awful time with one IP address at home which screwed up my website, I rebooted my router to give me another IP address and it worked fab. But, I didn’t know each website has its own dedicated IP address.

  35. JeffG

    I recommend a dedicated IP every time, along with an SSL cert. Call it unnecessary if you want to, but I disagree. Why would anyone risk a penalty over 50 bucks a year? It’s always better to be safe than sorry and when you are talking about something as cheap as a dedicated IP, it’s silly not to. I work with large automotive tiers here in Detroit, that spend tens of thousands of dollars on internet marketing and SEO. Another 50 bucks isn’t gonna kill em. Dedicated IP every time, no question.

  36. John P

    I agree that there more things to be concerned about when it comes to SEO and having a dedicated IP shouldn’t be bothering any one at this point. SEO is also a matter of prioritization, you got to work on the most important things that puts so much weight in hitting the right spot on SERP than exerting efforts on matters that don’t have so much weight.

    It is also advisable to talk to your provider before you acquire dedicated IP. It is important that the end user fully understands what it is for, its benefits and disadvantages before delving into it.

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  38. Max

    Thanks, After reading this, I’m still going to stack two of my sites with similar category with the same IP address. Dedicated IP per site is hard to do when you have dozens of websites. What happened to ZippyKid.com? It redirects to pressable.com

  39. Jim Coffey

    Hey Guys,

    Awesome post. I’ve went thru it a couple of times and I have to say that I strongly agree with everyone that digs a dedicated IP. IMO you seriously have to think in terms of risk vs costs. Is it really worth it to risk a Money Site or a Client site on a “Maybe”? No way! The safest route to go is dedicated IP. Protect your investments cool kids.

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