Installment 5 in an opinion series by Linda Bradshaw about blogging and SEO
Is your website or blog in a good neighborhood?
Web hosting can get really confusing and expensive. Who can blame you for signing up for cheap web hosting? You probably did not know that Google has defined some of those cheap web hosting companies servers as “bad neighborhoods.” I know that when I first started blogging I had no idea at all that there were “bad neighborhoods” in the Google universe. As for how to find out what web hosting companies have “bad neighborhood” servers, well I see there are sites that claim that they can check for you. I do not know if any of them work, and for the purposes of this discussion I really am not interested right now in pursuing that. Maybe sometime in the future, maybe not.
But the fact remains, Google, as the all-knowing and all-seeing and omnipotent ruler of the almighty much coveted Google page rank and Google Search Engine Results Page KNOWS where your domain is hosted. When Google does its quarterly re-indexing (or “sweep”) one of the things that it looks at is what “neighborhood” your domain is in. If it sees your website/blog is on one of those “bad neighborhood” servers, then they will at least penalize your website, which reduces the page rank, and at most they will “ban” or “black-list” your website. What that means is that they will put YOUR website on their list of naughty boys and girls that get ignored from that point on until Hades freezes over and a gay woman becomes the Pope of the Catholic Church.