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We have learned that some entrepreneurs that are also online marketing evangelists and have been extensively using Platform-as-a-Service, debate a lot about the IP related cons of Platform-as-a-Service. They believe that the sudden shift of IP whilst server failover, drastically reduces their Search Engine Rankings (SERPs). They further relate this issue that results in little or no impact of various SEO practices. Even forums, of some of our affiliates are chockfull with such queries. In this regard, we thought then and there to procure a blog post especially meant for this purpose.

We KNOW the importance of Search Engine Optimization when you want to Capatilize online. Hence, this being a prevalent concern of many individuals that employ Platform-as-a-Service to host their web applications, Cloudreviews took the initiative to address this issue and find out whether this problem is real or just another fallacy that is associated with Cloud Computing. Read on below, as we provide a detailed synopsis of the problem with verdict of what the Search Engine giants have to say about this.


Brief Summary of the Subject

You would probably know that Infrastructure-as-a-Service and Platform-as-a-Service are the only two segments of Cloud Computing which provide users the ability to host websites. In fact when we talk about Platform-as-a-Service, it is mainly known to be a hosting facility that users avail via Cloud servers.

However, in IaaS, users even get to manage the virtual machines and their operating systems besides hosting. It’s a common trait of many PaaS vendors to acquire IaaS from varied IaaS providers and then by adding their own platform which can either be a CMS or any other website builder, provide Cloud hosting services to the public.

While hosting their website in the Cloud, users get to segregate the resources of various servers to their domains. In this way while holding their core files in one server they get to balance the secondary data of their websites on other servers. This is quite an advantageous feature of PaaS Cloud hosting with which users get to maneuver seamlessly during traffic spikes.

The Problem – Lets Go into the Bottom

If your website is hosted into the Cloud and one of the servers that hold the vital data of your website goes down, your hosting provider without causing any hindrance in your website’s uptime will allocate you a newer server. Once your downed server is replaced by a newer one and that which is also not in the same location as your previous ones, Your IP address will also change.

Many Online marketing evangelists here think that a change in IP address will mar the credibility you got your website through Search Engine Optimization. They think that your previous and undergoing SEO practices become futile once your website’s IP changes and this has a drastic effect in your rankings.

This concept has been going on in the Cloud industry for quite some time now and individuals with websites that are accomplishing great traffic and conversions all because of online marketing, fear on coming to the Cloud environment just because of this.

IP changed- Is it really a Problem? NO!

THE MYTH OF THE DEDICATED IP ADDRESS FOR SEOAlthough, Vendors have been addressing this issue a lot, yet many believe it is just another gimmick they are trying to attract more customers. Secondly, many articles have also been written regarding IP changes but none have come up so far only referring to the IP issues of PaaS and its effect on SEO.

Cloudreviews took up the duty to perform a thorough research on the topic and interviewed many marketing evangelist and Cloud providers. When we found out that the mighty Google team has literally no regard for IP for rankings-other than on-site elements, we can easily tell our readers with a guarantee that;

Your website’s IP has definitely no role to play in your search engine rankings moreover, change of IP will have no effect on your SEO.

So Why was it Such a Big Deal?

We think that this issue was nothing but a mere misconception. We believe, that businesses which felt that there Search Engine Rankings dropped just because there IP changed, have made a mistake in indentifying the real problem. Google undoubtedly, the leader among Search Engines is habitual of amazing us with new updates, which meticulously target false and black hat SEO tactics being used.

There might be a possibility that some other factors on their website that are not transparent in the eyes of Google might have caused their keywords or rankings to drop.

THE MYTH OF THE DEDICATED IP ADDRESS FOR SEOSuch occurrence that took place right at the time when they were notified by their hosting provider for a server change, might have given them a reason to believe that IP change caused their rankings to go down.

For some this might be and arguable situation, however, we have some solid statements form Google professionals to support us on this issue. As of the latest updates by Google, IP shifts and changes have entirely no effect on your Search engine optimization tactics, literally.

Proof in Point – With Supporting Material & Facts

Your would already know that your websites IP determines your server location, regarding which in mid 2010 Google posted a statement, narrating; what sort of importance is given to server location

“Some websites utilize Content delivery networks (CDNs) or are from the beginning hosted in countries known to have better Web Servers, so we tend not to rely only on their server location at all”

Here again, you need to understand that this was in 2010, Now, Google with its recent updates has further reduced the importance of server location for ranking websites.

Google knows that worldwide users majorly look for servers and hosting options that reside in USA, because of better infrastructure, good support and reliable CDNs. That is why Google has downgraded the importance of server location in favor of other targeting tools.

From this excerpt you can further understand that IPs or server locations are given zero importance by Google in ranking your website on its search results.

Further, Matt Cuts who still heads the Webspam team at Google Inc, mentions in his blog post exposing the MYTH of having dedicated IP for SEO purpose. In that post, he quoted:

“There is no PageRank difference whatsoever between these two cases (virtual hosting vs. a dedicated IP).”

If not IP then, how Google Does Determine My Website’s Location?

Recent algorithm changes led by google have clarified to us that now it determines our website’s location with:

  • Country specific URLs
  • Country code top-level domains
  • Your website’s language. If it is Japanese, your target region is probably Japan
  • Address and phone number mentioned on your website. Google Panda takes them into account
  • Currency used in pricing
  • Google web master’s manual Geo targeting tool

Apart from your server location if your Domain is registered with .RU, Google webmaster tools will automatically take into account that your Geo target audience is in Russia.

Our Perception

Platform-as-a-Service, the most acclaimed and meritorious segment of Cloud Computing technology as of yet, provides users the ability to scale limitless Cloud resources and readily deploy numerous web applications on the internet.

Platform-as-a-Service or PaaS offer users a much easy Cloud based experience as unlike Infrastructure as a service, they don’t have to manage and scale complete virtual machines and its operating systems.

This is also the reason of such mass preference of PaaS by Cloud users over any other segment of Cloud computing because over here, users only get to deal with developer friendly platforms and utilize its hassle free potential to build engaging and alluring web applications.

Considering the portability and ease that PaaS promises, many PaaS vendors have risen and achieved recognition, each providing distinctive features of its own, among which the most generally to be found is the “Managed Services” which not only provide users with the nominally priced PaaS infrastructure, but also minifies even the existing responsibilities of the users.

Such activities which can also be called as PaaS system administration then becomes the prior responsibility of the PaaS vendors which they then cater under the banner of “Managed Services”.

Conclusion – Little More to Know

Technically, we can easily say that location matters and does have an effect on SEO, however, it effects in a totally different way and that too in light of different pointers- and as of yet your server location is nowhere included. We believe that this post would prove to be a solution to a lot of your concerns regarding server locations in the Cloud.

We suggest you to step over such fallacies and attain the best of all hosting experience that Platform as a service promises. All-in-All, you should be glad that the revolutionized Cloud hosting solution in PaaS is so reliable that even during failovers; you are guaranteed non-stop accessibility to your website.

And there is More to Come

During our endeavor to find out the truth about the IP related misconception of PaaS, we came across yet another issue which revolves around the effect of SHARED IPs on your domain. Many people have said that this issue is prevalent in both Cloud and conventional hosting realms.

However, let’s not get all huffed up, Cloudreviews is here to sort such problems and unveil all misconceptions for you. So stay tuned as in our next post we will be addressing this issue and find out whether it is true or just another myth trying to hold back Cloud enthusiasts.