Google’s John Mueller recently clarified that having multiple sites on the same IP address is not inherently a problem.
However, it may become a problem if those sites have very similar content.
This topic came up during a webmaster central office hours hangout. An individual was concerned about a decline in traffic amongst multiple sites on the same IP address.
In addition to being on the same IP address, the webmaster described these sites as having very similar content and site structure.
Mueller explained that having multiple sites on the same IP address is not a problem as far as Google search is concerned. That’s how the internet generally works, Mueller says.
A bigger issue is the similar content, as Google may regard that as being a collection of doorway sites — especially if the sites are funnelling users toward the same products.
Google may end up doing one of two things in these cases:
- One: Google may decide to display content from just one site out of the collection of “doorway” sites.
- Two: If Google regards a collection of similar content sites as being “doorways” then it might demote all of them.
Mueller ultimately recommended that this webmaster focus on making the content more unique, rather than being concerned about them all being on the same IP address.
You can hear Mueller’s full response in the video below, starting at the 20:33 mark.
“All the same IP address — that’s really not a problem for us. It’s really common for sites to be on the same IP address. That’s kind of the way the internet works. A lot of CDNs (content delivery networks) use the same IP address as well for different sites, and that’s also perfectly fine.
I think the bigger issue that he might be running into is that all these sites are very similar. So, from our point of view, our algorithms might look at that and say “this is kind of a collection of doorway sites” — in that essentially they’re being funnelled toward the same product.
The content on the sites is probably very similar. Then, from our point of view, what might happen is we will say we’ll pick one of these pages and index that and show that in the search results. That might be one variation that we could look at. In practice that wouldn’t be so problematic because one of these sites would be showing up in the search results.
On the other hand, our algorithm might also be looking at this and saying this is clearly someone trying to overdo things with a collection of doorway sites and we’ll demote all of them.
So what I recommend doing here is really trying to take a step back and focus on fewer sites and making those really strong, and really good and unique. So that they have unique content, unique products that they’re selling. So then you don’t have this collection of a lot of different sites that are essentially doing the same thing.”