How your website host affects your search engine rankings

With the advent of new search technologies, search engines are spidering (searching for pages to index) more sites than ever. As a result, a premium is being placed on indexing pages as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, this has the effect of penalizing those websites which do not respond quickly to requests for pages.

What happens is this: You submit your site to a search engine for possible placement in their index. The search engine attempts to access your site to check for relevant content. However, for several reasons, your website may not load quickly enough to be completely displayed in the time the search engine allots. As a result, the search engine does not see your entire page, if any of it. These speed issues can be related to your website host’s connection speed, in addition to design elements such as overly large graphic files or banner ads on your page. A worst case scenario is that your website host is not reliable and your site is actually down at the time the search engine chooses to spider your site. If the search engine cannot reach your site, it will not be indexed.

To minimize the chance of search engines "missing" your site due to unreliable or slow connections, your website host should, at a minimum:

If your company is hosting your website in-house, take a look at the above requirements and make sure that they are met. If your company has a T-1 line and you are hosting your website in addition to offering Internet access to your employees, your site is being penalized from a speed perspective.

June 1, 2002

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