How your Web Server Affects your Website Visibility in Google
While content and links can affect your site’s visibility in search engines like Google, your web server can also play a big role on how search engines view your website. The key here is to make sure you are serving up pages fast and reliably. Remember a search engine is trying to give its users the best experience possible. Sending them to a page that is down half the time or it take an eternity to load is not going to be considered a quality experience.
First and foremost a web server is just a computer. And the performance of any computer relies on hardware and resources it has available. Things like the number of processors and the type of memory, quality of network and connection to the internet can all be important. You want to talk to people responsible for hosting and managing your web server to make sure that the resources are appropriate to serve quickly and minimize any downtime.
The physical location of your web server can also affect your search engine visibility. As visitors interact with your website search engines will often collect data around how fast all the elements of your pages are loading for them. If the visitor is located in one country and your only web servers are located on the other side of the world from them, the page may be loading very slowly which is a concern for search engines. This might seem crazy, but it actually happens quite often. Hosting your site halfway across the world might offer financial benefits but it might also hurt your ability to serve pages quickly. Generally, you want to make sure that your web server is geographically located where most of your potential website visitors will come from.
Does CDN affect SEO?
If you expect a significant amount of traffic from across the entire world you may want to consider a web hosting solution that can help distribute requests for your pages across a global network of computers. And even if you serving pages locally you want to consider speeding things up by using Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) to help serve big files like images and videos from these servers that are located all over the world. There also some other considerations you want to be aware of when it comes to international SEO.
Another thing that will help your pages load quickly is caching. Your website may be configured to pull content and other information from a database on your web server. Every single time a user requests your pages content management systems like WordPress, Drupal, Joomla work this way. And virtually every product page you have ever seen on an e-commerce website is being constructed from calls to a database. One way to minimize the time-consuming database workload in these situations is to enable server side caching. This is where your web server interacts with your database only once in order to generate a given page. And then it saves the copy of the content on the server or a period of time. Once that copy is being made each subsequent view of that particular page will load the content that’s being saved on the server bypassing any redundant database work. Many content management e-commerce systems have plugins or settings built in to help you accomplish this.
Another thing to consider is that search engines such as Google have expressed a preference for secured sites. Google has also indicated this is a ranking signal for them. If your site offers e-commerce or gathers consumer information you may want to consider the use of HTTPS secured protocol throughout your site.
Ensure server reliability
Last but not the least, you want to make sure that your web server is consistently running and not experiencing any downtime. If your server is constantly down, search engines will consider your site unreliable and they will not suggest it to their users. Making sure that you are doing everything you can from the web hosting perspective to load content fast, securely and reliably will not only keep your users happy with your site but also make your site more attractive to search engines who sent them there.
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