A server check-up is a simple analysis that determines whether your site is hosted on a server in what SEO’s sometimes call a good or a bad “neighbourhood”. The term neighbourhood refers to the other domains hosted on that same server and/or IP address.
A good neighbourhood will host just your website alone or your site alongside other high-quality websites. All the domains found on this server/IP address will be useful, informative, safe and secure. The best neighbourhoods can be considered ones using dedicated hosting solutions so that your high-quality site is the only website in that neighbourhood. Any negative activities carried out by other websites have no chance of being connected to your website in such cases (at least not because of your hosting).
The opposite of a good neighbourhood, a bad neighbourhood hosts low-quality sites. A bad neighbourhood is easily identifiable through the tens, hundreds or even thousands of spammy, low-quality and irrelevant domains sharing the server. These are most commonly seen with cheaper hosting solutions (especially SEO hosting!) and the spammy, malicious and low-quality activity being carried out by some of the low-quality sites sharing your server/IP could be causing your site issues.
There are several issues that will arise if your website is hosted in a bad neighbourhood. For example, your website may be more vulnerable to security issues, generate a slow loading time and/or produce limited customer trust. As such, we believe Google considers where your website is hosted as a strong ranking factor. Sharing resources with spammy and dangerous websites? Google might minimise risks to their searchers by assuming that your site could be the same.
There are online tools, such as Reverse IP or DNS lookup, which can show you the number of and types of websites sharing your server, DNS records and/or IP address. This diagnosis can be accomplished by inserting your domain/IP address into the ‘Reverse IP Lookup’ tool. As a result, you will see all the sites hosted in your neighbourhood. You should quickly be able to tell if they are low quality or if there is a particularly large number of sites sharing the same server.
We strongly recommend relocating if your results come back revealing that your server is hosted in a bad neighbourhood. Your website will see numerous benefits from investing in higher quality hosting and being placed in a better neighbourhood with other high-quality businesses as a result.
1. The speed of your website can increase.
2. Your reputation will be strengthened by moving to a trusted host. As such, you can provide a better user experience (UX) and increase your chances of securing mentions of your site across the web, as a reputable source.
3. You will rectify the vulnerability of your site, which is essential in this modern-day climate.
Once you relocate, it is best practice to only associate with high-authority websites within your link earning strategy. You should look to secure links from high quality and powerful websites. As such, you will also want to avoid externally linking to websites with low page authority, sites that link to spammy websites themselves and/or who publish questionable content.
While a good neighbourhood is unlikely to turn into a bad one overnight, it is worth running a server check-up periodically if you are on a shared host. Additionally, it is advisable to run the diagnosis prior to any new SEO campaign. By far the best option is to invest in a dedicated server so that you can be sure no low-quality websites hinder your SEO progress.