There is much debate on whether hosting multiple websites within the same class C IP range will hurt SEO efforts. In my opinion, this something that Google needs to stop doing. FYI, Matt Cutts of Google claims this will not affect page rank.
I sure hope this is the case. Consider the web developer, like myself, that also offers web hosting as a reseller. This is great for the client because they now have a single point of contact for all their web needs. And, I can offer more flexibility for the client because I have direct access to the server.
A web hosting reseller account comes with a range of IP addresses. If some of my clients websites are similar, it might be mutually beneficial to add links to each. Many web developers specialize in a particular market and it would make sense to link between them in some cases. If the search engines like Google penalize this, they need to stop.
It does suck that there are so many people practicing black hat SEO techniques. This makes us honest internet professionals’ jobs that much harder. I understand Google’s need to continually try to thwart these kinds of efforts. But, I think they need to also consider and recognize the honest web developers offering web hosting as part of their service and not consider the IP range their websites are on as a negative.
The same type of story can be heard in many different markets, not just the internet. Remember the lady that sued McDonald’s because she burned herself with their hot coffee? We all now suffer with higher prices for coffee because McDonald’s needs to recoup their losses, pay their attorneys, and print warning labels on their coffee warning people that it’s hot.
So, do web developers now need to have multiple web hosting reseller accounts and increase our pricing because of the black hat SEO scumbags? I can tell you that this will just send more business overseas to places like India.
A small web developer cannot afford to have multiple reseller accounts to appease Google. We’re honest, hardworking people trying to run legitimate businesses and keep costs down, just like the larger companies. To penalize us and our clients simply because their websites are hosted on the same IP range would be absurd and simply unfair.
There are SEO web hosting accounts being offered by some hosting companies. This is their way of trying to circumvent the possiblity that Google is penalizing sites within an IP range. And, round and round we go.
To all you black hat SEO folks, how about you spend your time trying to get your sites ranked well by using the good old fashioned way…hard work!