Dedicated IP Address Not Required for Search Engine Optimization

One of the latent myths of SEO is the need for a dedicated IP address. This search engine optimization falsehood was started in the late 1990’s and spread by many highly visible SEO’s including Bruce Clay’s inaccurate information.

There is absolutely no need to get a dedicated IP address or a dedicated server for web hosting. You would share a C block IP with your neighbors in a datacenter, and you have absolutely no control of virtual neighbors. If search engines penalized or promoted websites based on their IP address, then IP’s would be more valuable than domain names and blackhat spammers would have a field day holding innocent webmasters hostage.
Imagine this scenario, you are randomly assigned 216.218.255.166 and a site in the same web hosting rack is assigned IP 216.218.255.165 and they are hosting hardcore pornography on a different server. Your website content may be rainbows and unicorns, but the neighboring C Class server could be hosting P2P warez and hate speech. Should Google or any other search engine make an association

Read Matt Cutts dispel the need for a dedicated IP address.

More of the science behind IP addresses:

The four numbers in an IP address are called octets, because they each have eight positions when viewed in binary form. If you add all the positions together, you get 32, which is why IP addresses are considered 32-bit numbers. Since each of the eight positions can have two different states (1 or 0) the total number of possible combinations per octet is 28 or 256. So each octet can contain any value between 0 and 255. Combine the four octets and you get 232 or a possible 4,294,967,296 unique values!

Out of the almost 4.3 billion possible combinations, certain values are restricted from use as typical IP addresses. For example, the IP address 0.0.0.0 is reserved for the default network and the address 255.255.255.255 is used for broadcasts.

Rest assured, you do not need a unique IP address to rank well in search engines. Anyone who tells you otherwise is misinformed or wants profit from selling you expensive dedicated web hosting.

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12 Responses

  1. We have done an fabulous job converting all our sites to use dedicated IP’s but the time spent on the conversion has not produced positive ROI.

  2. Of course, what a great site and informative posts, I will add backlink – bookmark this site? Regards, Reader.

  3. Smackdown from an anonymous commenter! I love debate and am happy to debate you, fans of Bruce Clay are always welcome.

    Ill dissect your comments: Yes Matt Cutts often gives vague answers, but this post was short and sweet “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.”

    How can this be more clear?

    Here is one example I found in 30 seconds: blogmaverick.com. It ranks pretty good, is currently #5 in Google for the keyword “blog” and shares a server with 164 other domains.

    Don’t worry, I always provide real world examples and quote industry authorities when I make a statement.

    Your statement “Bruce has been doing this for longer than you (obviously) have.” Shoot, you may be correct, according to the copyright dates bruceclay.com was started in 1996 and I started my company in 1998. Also interesting to note that Yahoo started around 1996 and Google started around 1998.

    Eagerly awaiting your response.

    P.S. I left a comment here but it was not published. Maybe I won’t get the professional debate I hoped for after all 🙁

  4. Bruce tests everything he states – and he’s one of the best in the business and has been at it longer than just about anyone.

    Matt tells you as little as possible to keep you from trying too hard to manipulate rankings. Remember, he works for Google, who does not want you trying to manipulate rankings.

    Bruce has been doing this for longer than you (obviously) have. Once you’re around a bit longer you’ll know who to listen to. In the mean time you should watch who you accuse of “inaccurate information.”

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