“SEO Hosting” is an unofficial, “underground” term used in web hosting industry to describe a hosting service, which allows site owners to host a number of IP-based sites on IP addresses which belong in different /24 IP subnets (IPv4). Like other broadly used terms – “Cheap Web Hosting”, “Budget Hosting” and many other – the term SEO Hosting lacks a technical specification. The service can be provided to consumers as a number of Shared Hosting accounts, hosted in different physical or virtual servers or as a cPanel/WHM Reseller Hosting Account which has a number of IP-based virtual accounts.
There are different approaches to SEO Hosting. However the consumers are interested mostly in hosting their websites in different IP addresses, than in using any specific website automation management solution, which would be associated with the term “SEO Hosting”. This type of web hosting service is used from site owners for cross-linking a number of web pagess, a SEO technique which has a fast growing popularity. It is believed that when crawler programs of the Search engine’s algorithms index websites that link one to another, all those sites “exchange popularity” by boosting one another’s rank in the Search engine results pages (SERP). In other words if a site owner has 5 IP-based websites and links from each one to the others, one will boost their rank in the SERP. However, there is one very important condition. All websites must be hosted on IPs from different /24 IP subnets. This is very important because when a Search engine algorithm finds out that a number of websites do cross-linking from IP addresses which belong to the same /24 IP subnet it will probably depreciate the links.
Why SEO Hosting is an “Underground Hosting” service?
IANA, the organization responsible for the global coordination of the DNS Root, IP space management as well as the regional bodies such as ARIN, RIPE, APNIC, LACNIC and AfriNIC apply strict rules to the assignment of IPv4 and IPv6 space. Some of these rules require ISP’s and web hosting providers to justify the assignment of IP addresses. See what RIPE says about the allocation of IP addresses:
Public IPv4 address space must be fairly distributed to the End Users operating networks. To maximise the lifetime of the public IPv4 address space, addresses must be distributed according to need, and stockpiling must be prevented.
RIPE, ARIN and other similar bodies apply utilization criteria to the assignment of IPv4 addresses. To make it short I’ll say that “Improve Search engine ranking”, “SEO” and other similar reasons do not work as justification for anyone to get an IPv4 address. The proper use of IPs requires them to be allocated only to physical Dedicated servers, Virtual Private Servers, Reseller accounts; Name Servers; Mails Servers; Private FTP or IP-based Shared accounts in cases where name-based hosting is not possible due to technological limitations not yet overcome such as SSL. This mean that a SEO Hosting service is justifiable only if an IP-based websites uses a SSL certificate.
Unfortunately most web hosting companies that offer SEO Hosting do not assign a digital certificate to each IP-based website they provide to customers for SEO purposes This is a good reason to say that the SEO Hosting is an “underground hosting”, a hosting service which does not comply with the rules that govern the industry. Of course those web hosting providers that offer SEO Hosting service, by following the Rules of the IANA and the regional bodies, must be distinguished from others.
Does SEO Hosting Really Work?
Search engines count the quality and quantity of links which point to a certain web address (domain) or web page to estimate its value. SEO Hosting is not the “one and only” solution which can be used to boost the ranking of a certain website in the SERP. However it is considered that if a certain website is an IP-based, this means that it is important enough, so the allocation of a static, dedicated IP address is justifiable from technical perspective.
If anyone has a number of IP-based web sites, hosted in IP addresses which belong to different /24 subnets and if they refer one to another by having text links with certain anchors, then the Search Engines would define those links as valuable. Ten thousands and sometimes hundred thousands of website owners compete for a place in first and second SERP of major Search engine. This guarantees that their websites will be visible for the Internet audience and will receive a large amount of visitors.
There are growing number of people who claim that SEO Hosting helps them to achieve higher Search engine rankings for their websites. However it is funny that the SEO Hosting wasn’t a popular web hosting service a few years ago, when the web haven’t ran out of IPv4 space. Today when the IPv4 is completely (or almost completely) exhausted, there is a growing demand for IP-based hosting and IP-hosted applications.
I can not suggest anyone to use a web hosting service for SEO. I do not have experience with SEO Hosting and have always done SEO in a very different way. However I know a lot of people I trust who say it works for them.