Dedicated vs. Shared IP Addresses and SEO

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Is having a dedicated IP address critical for achieving great Google rankings and if an IP address is shared among many sites, is the PageRank for each site diluted?

This is, believe it or not, still a very common question in the SEO world, despite the search engines addressing these concerns. Over at DigitalPoint a reader asks:

Does anyone have any current knowledge and or real life experience with the importance or lack of, having a dedicated IP address for your hosting account as far as Google Page Rank and other search engines are concerned? If you have 1 IP address and you add on domains, does that dilute page rank or trust? If it is shared and someone else’s website that shares the IP address gets Google slapped, does that impact my website or blog?

One reader refers to the 2006 post on the Matt Cutts blog which references a statement by Google’s Craig Silverstein in 2003 :

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!


Cutts adds “I’m happy to affirm that this statement which was true in 2003 is still true now. Links to virtually hosted domains are treated the same as links to domains on dedicated IP addresses.

Of course if you have 1,000 sites running on the same IP address which all link to each other and to bad linking neighborhoods, the PageRank between those links which are being passed along should be diluted and if some of those sites are practicing questionable methods of, well, spamming Google … having them all grouped together should set off some kind of red flags.

On the other hand, such linking would not be natural, so if the sites were all hosted on separate IP’s, one would think that Google would still be able to identify the group of sites trading links back and forth (ie Link Farm), even if their hosting records or domain registar records shows no physical co relation between those sites, wouldn’t you think?

What are your views on hosting sites on dedicated vs. shared IP addresses?

Loren Baker
Loren Baker is the Founder of SEJ, an Advisor at Alpha Brand Media and runs Foundation Digital, a digital marketing strategy & development agency.
Loren Baker
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