If you’re looking to improve your business and increase your revenue, something that all experts and industry analysts will tell you to do is improve your SEO ranking for your company’s website. SEO (or search engine optimization) allows people to find your website more easily when browsing the search engine of their choice (Google, Yahoo!, Bing, etc.). By fine-tuning a myriad of behind-the-scenes elements, improved SEO ranking could make all the difference in the success and health of your business. If you operate a pizza restaurant in San Diego, being the first Google result when somebody searches for “San Diego pizza” is incredibly valuable and gives you a considerable leg up on your competition.
Now that we understand the value of SEO, it should come as no surprise that most businesses will do everything in their power to improve it for their company’s website. There is no shortage of ways to go about this, and the methods and practices are too numerous and complicated to fully do them justice in this article. But one way that companies are improving their websites SEO ranking might surprise you – by making the switch to could-based computing.
Although an exact definition can be a bit murky, cloud computing is essentially utilizing shared, online resources in a decentralized fashion. For businesses that talk of making the switch to the cloud, they are usually referring to getting rid of physical storage servers on which their website and other company resources are hosted, and opting instead to using a 3rd party cloud service and paying for their storage and hosting needs as they use them. The servers on which their website and other resources are hosted on are shared with various other companies and businesses.
So how can cloud hosting improve your SEO ranking?
Increased Page Loading Speed
Who doesn’t want their Internet to be fast? As we collectively push towards a more connected, digital tomorrow, one of the big pushes from our Federal Government and others around the world is for further broadband penetration and faster upload/download speeds.
It’s not just a comfort, however – increased page loading speeds can absolutely increase your SEO rank. Google, the world’s largest search engine, uses a host of analytical metrics to determine which sites pop up where when certain keywords are entered. One of them is a User Experience (UX) rating, and the higher your site’s UX rating, the better experience a user is likely to have while visiting your site and the higher you will be ranked in Google results. A key component of a strong UX rating is page loading speed – the faster your pages load, the better your SEO.
Having your website hosted in the cloud can drastically increase the speed at which your pages load for a user. By allowing for the distribution of online resources more efficiently and effectively, sites hosted on the cloud are more nimble – higher traffic areas of your site or pages that transfer high amounts of data can gobble up the resources they need, as they need them, while relatively low-impact sites (such as your contact or FAQ page) can rest on the back burner.
There are lots of other small “tricks” that web developers and online marketers can employ on your site to make small increases in your SEO ranks, but nothing is as sweeping and effective as migrating your site from a traditional on-site hard drive to an online cloud-based solution.
Another key component to a successful and effective SEO rank is hosting location. Google and other search engines look more favorably on sites that are hosted locally. That is to say, if you live in Europe and are looking for a particular site by searching in Google, the .eu version of the site will be ranked higher than the .com, .au, or any other version of the site (if they exist). With traditionally-hosted websites, this has led to companies buying or renting servers in each of the target markets they want to be relevant in and hosting each version locally.
If your website is hosted in the cloud, there is no need to do this. Since cloud platforms have servers in all corners of the globe, sites hosted on the cloud do not have a geo-located footprint, as it were. This means that you could host a .com, .us, .eu, and .au site all on the cloud, and it will automatically serve the most appropriate version – an Australian would likely get the .au version while and European would get the .eu version.
Many of the top cloud hosting services offer protection against a variety of “bots”, or malicious automated scripts and behaviors that can do a lot of damage to your site and concurrently, your SEO ranking. An example of bad bots that can have a severe impact on your SEO rankings are scraping bots – these are the most common culprits for duplicated content, which from an SEO perspective should always be avoided. These baddies trawl through your site, steal your content and links, and publish them elsewhere under a different domain. Not only are they stealing your information and material, but having several other sites with the same information out there makes it that much harder for people to discover you and the “real” site through their search engine of choice.
Link Spamming bots are also ones to watch out for, and nearly all cloud solutions offer some sort of protection against them. If you’ve ever happened upon a discussion forum on a large site or came across a news story with lots of comments, odds are you’ve seen comments along the lines of “I’m making $3,457 each day by working at home – you can too by clicking HERE for more information!” Those links are obviously malicious and are spewed out by these link spamming bots constantly. Having malicious links on your site not only looks bad from a professional standpoint, but they can significantly reduce your Trust and Authority ratings, which are a major factor in your sites’ SEO rank. By switching to a cloud-based hosting solution with standard bot protection, you’ll be taking another step toward greater site stability and improved SEO.
If you talk to anyone who is in the SEO industry, you’ll hear them rave about cloud based hosting options for the reasons listed above and several more. Cloud computing has absolutely changed the face of the way in which many companies conduct business online, and its increased popularity and adoption rate each year mean that it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. As mentioned before – businesses should be always doing everything in their power to increase their SEO ranking and be seen by as many people as possible. While there are a lot of ways to carry this out, switching to the cloud is a proven method.
Moazzam Adnan – Director of Business Development, Atlantic.Net
Moazzam Adnan joined Atlantic.Net in December 2000 as a Product Manager. He currently holds the position of Director of Business Development. Moazzam contributes to the growth of Atlantic.Net by branding and leveraging their product offerings with Web and new online and social media marketing. With over 10 years of experience in marketing, business strategy, and effective strategic partnerships and alliances, he has successfully launched and managed products from concept to marketing to profitable campaigns. His approach to business development is innovative and active, and he is always looking for pioneering strategies to grow the business via novel partnerships and revenue opportunities.
Very interesting topic, but it lacks real data. I mean, everything that you describe is common SEO knowledge (for us who are in the business). It would have been helpful to see some numbers or case studies compared to local hosted solution. Otherwise, this remains a nice theory…