The world of SEO is a minefield of myths, the majority of which claim to help sites “get ranked on page 1 (faster, quicker, cheaper, for free!)”. The topic of dedicated IP addresses for SEO is no exception. There is still some confusion as to whether or not a dedicated IP address will help to boost visibility in the search results. With some companies still paying out in the hope of ‘beating Google’ we look at three reasons why choosing a dedicated IP addresses is not a justifiable tactic.

A little technical background. When a site claims to sell an IP address for SEO gain they are offering a dedicated IP address rather than a virtual or shared host. A virtual hosting service denotes a web hosting service where more than one web site is located on one server. This is usually the most popular choice for hosting as often the costs are shared and therefore lower. Whereas a dedicated IP is a unique Internet address dedicated a single hosting account. Dedicated IP addresses are more commonly used for large, traffic-heavy websites.

So why would shared hosting affect rankings?

Some believe that in the event that your site is hosted on a server alongside sites which are considered ‘spammy’ by way of guilt by association, Google may look upon your site with more scrutiny.

However, in this video circa 2010, Matt Cutts still validates that shared hosting is fine.

Secondly, Matt Cutts himself wrote a myth busting response to a discussion on a NANOG (North American Network Operators Group) email list about virtual hosting vs. dedicated IP addresses. To which he stated;

Links to virtually hosted domains are treated the same as links to domains on dedicated IP addresses.

If you’re still not convinced, have a read of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. You’ll notice that on the list of best practises, dedicated IP addresses are not listed.

Are there any instances where a dedicated IP address would be more appropriate?

If you are setting up an eCommerce website that requires an SSL certificate, you might need a dedicated IP address for extra security for handling customer’s data.

Have you been tempted to buy a dedicated IP address to boost SEO? Or have you been converted? We’d love to hear from you – simply tweet @browser_media or say hello on the Browser Media Facebook Page page to let us know.