How Important is the IP Address for SEO?

May 18, 2007 • 9:22 am | comments (14) by twitter | Filed Under SEO - Search Engine Optimization

The question about IP address and SEO is revisited time and time again. How beneficial is having a shared IP versus a dedicated IP? A Search Engine Watch Forums thread tackles this question.

1. What happens when one web site gets banned and in doing so penalizing the IP?
2. Is it fair that a web site using ethical SEO techniques is affected because it is being hosted in a "bad" neighborhood?
3. Does interlinking websites on the the same shared IP cause search engines to view them as a cluster and consequently loose link weight? i.e. links originating from a single C Block.

A few observations have been thrown out. A number of comments have been mentioned to reflect that Google is not as concerned about the IP address and focuses more on the domain name. However, it is observed that Google would rather you not link to the same sites if they reside on the same C-class.

Another person quotes Google:

"Actually, Google handles virtually hosted domains and their links just the same as domains on unique IP addresses. If your ISP does virtual hosting correctly, you'll never see a difference between the two cases. We do see a small percentage of ISPs every month that misconfigure their virtual hosting, which might account for this persistent misperception--thanks for giving me the chance to dispel a myth!"

-Google Director of Technology Craig Silverstein Slashdot interview

Ian McAnerin, moderator, adds that a shared IP is fine if you do not do anything shady:

For the average site, my experience is that it really doesn't matter if it's shared or not. It only becomes an issue if you begin to push the spam envelope, at which point I would suggest you have other problems other than your IP...

I invite you to read a blog post from my BFF Lisa that was written two months ago that also addresses this question. In the post, Lisa says that it's best to be on a dedicated IP.

Forum discussion at Search Engine Watch Forums.

Previous story: Google AdSense Speaks Up on Proxy Sites



05/18/2007 01:54 pm

Don't forget about this quote: Additionally I remember one other instance where an official Google rep has said that they do not discount links from the same C-Class IP. Maybe it was in one of Matt's video blogs from the Fall. In anycase, IPs are relatively cheap, and mission critical sites should have their own IP, but I don't worry too much about cross linking. I imagine the main way Google uses IPs is if a site is otherwise spamming they might use it as a research tool to see what other sites the webmaster of the spamming site might own. Matt Cutts for instance has mentioned numerous times his "tools" he has for investigating such things.

Michael Martinez

05/18/2007 04:17 pm

Great recap! I still see this misconception frequently and the facts have been available for years. The point needs to be hammered home so people stop believing nonsense.


05/18/2007 07:00 pm

Regardless of the theory, I've seen it work in practice. I had a website that didn't rank at all in the first 100 SERPs for a completely unique, non-competitive search term. I added a unique IP address to my hosting and nothing else and now it's number one. So it definitely does make a difference.


05/18/2007 10:47 pm

in the spirit of stopping the nonsense from spreading... Ro, that's not right. even though IP was the only thing you've done, your old site may well have suffered due to incorrect setting and/or technical issue on the server level.


05/20/2007 01:22 am

I do my own hosting. I have four websites that I am hosting on my server. All have the same IP address. Most of the domains are about 2 years old. 3 out of the four have ranking on the first of google for less competitive, but highly searched terms. Two of them are ranked #1 and the other is #5. I think is still comes down to thorough keyword research and not going more than 8 occurance on your targeted keyphrase.

Amit Patekar

09/14/2010 10:09 am

Is there any blog from google or any article released by google saying that they do not consider ip? This will help to make some concrete decision. We are working on one project in which clients can create there own websites, but we are doing that on single server/ip Regards Amit Patekar


10/06/2010 07:17 pm

Amit, this very article contains a quote from a Google Director contained in a Slashdot article dated 2002 indicating that Google does not consider IP. Below is a link to the full interview.


09/10/2011 02:00 am

im not sure if they do that or not, but for those who have good oratoria, and whant to increase traffic, why not to use seo techniques?

portfolio management

09/18/2011 08:02 am

I have a site and my hosting is on US servers with US dedicated ip, should I get a local Indian ip?


09/22/2011 02:07 am

Now I understand. IP addresses take part in doing SEO. I wonder for those using proxy in doing some 'magic' in SEO. If it is detectable by SE.


11/11/2011 04:56 pm

Think of it this way. What aspect of dedicated or shared would return better results for Google users? None that I see...


02/09/2012 08:02 am

seems to me that there are still two distinct trains of thought on this and I would like to see what the real answer is.

Zed C.

06/14/2012 01:01 am

Yes. Where your site is being hosted does play into your ranking in SEs

Mujahid Waseem

01/16/2014 03:05 pm

is there any body tell me that is there any reason in my site go down repaidly as have 7-9 domains with 80% same content on a same just 2,3 domains are working in ranking. my 4th domain that was alreadly on top 3 rank in google search now go to on 4,5 page ...plz help me in this regard what should i do... can i get dedicated ip for that site which is go name is other sites,,,

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