SEO TIP: Use Separate IP Addresses If You Interlink Your Sites

I’ve had my own dedicated server for over 5 years now after outgrowing VPS solutions a long time ago.  I’m with my third server provider now – my first server was with PowerVPS (good), then liquidweb (bad) and I’ve been with WiredTree for nearly 3 years now.  I’ve recently added a bit more RAM and better HDDs to my server and the spec is now:

  • Dual Intel Xeon E5420 Quad Core CPU
  • 24GB Ram
  • RAID 1: 2×120 Intel 320 120GB SSD
  • mysql: X25-E 32GB SSD
  • cpanel, litespeed, APC and Varnish cache

One feature of my server package which I’ve never appreciated before is multiple IP addresses.  For years, I’ve ignored these and just hosted all my sites on the same IP address.  I decided to research this last month, and I learnt that hosting all sites on the same IP address is bad for SEO, especially if you link between sites:

The main search engines that most of us are familiar with are Google and Yahoo!, but there are others and each uses its own screening process to make sure that same IP addresses don’t gain high ranks through what they view as low value backlinking. Or to put it in simpler terms, links from clearly related sites that are owned by the same webmaster. Search engines’ algorithms are set to be skilled in sniffing out the same IP address sites and when they spot them they prohibit them from rising in the ranks on search results. Backlinks that originate from different addresses are more highly valued, so the search engines are designed to favour them.

I run and jointly with Martin from ghacks.  These sites link to each other extensively for both natural and deliberate SEO reasons.  By hosting them on the same IP address we weren’t gaining the full benefit of these links, so I’ve now moved all my sites to separate IP addresses.


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