In the past couple of years, cloud computing has become a buzzword thrown around in tech-heavy industries, such as in search engine optimization and internet marketing. As technology has progressed, cloud hosting for you or clients’ websites has become a realistic venture with services such as Amazon’s Web Services offering cloud servers to customers. However, with the advent of new technology though comes a lot of confusion and uncertainty especially for those of us worried about its potential impact on our rankings in search engines. Never fear though, if you keep these five considerations in mind, you’ll be set when it comes to having a new site in the cloud.
1. Location, Location, Location
Right now, search engines such as Google heavily consider location of the server as a factor in determining PageRank for your site. Primarily this is done so that Google can give applicable results to searcher’s from areas near the server. After all, assuming you’re reading this from an English-speaking country you’re probably not looking for carpet cleaners in Nepal are you? So, when considering a cloud hosting server, it’s best to pick a hosting service in the same country or state as you. A rate for a UK based cloud computing company might be enticing in a scenario for Americans, but that doesn’t mean it will pay off in the search engine results!
2. Slow and Steady Does NOT win the Race
A big benefit of cloud computing is the speed of it, the server systems are designed to be speedy, efficient and offer optimal services to those trying to access the site. With Google’s “Caffeine” update, the speed of a web page is now factored into the PageRank of a site. Meaning that if your old site is running slower than a tortoise, than it might be time to go ahead and make the switch to a cloud hosting service. Not only will your rank (probably) jump in the search queries, but clients will be thankful for the speedier site!
3. More Reliable Than Regular Hosts
Reliability and uptime are not known to be considered in the ranking algorithm of any search engine. However, having your site crawled by Google or Yahoo’s spiders is key to having your site indexed and listed in search engine results. If your site is down for significant periods of time then you’re missing opportunities to be crawled after your content developers are working to enhance your rankings! Cloud hosting is generally more reliable than local hosting, being typically less prone to regular outages and also having on-site staff ready to fix any problems.
4. Keep in Mind Your TLD
General sentiment seems to say that you should opt for a more generic top level domain when possible, unless you’re trying to target a very specific audience. .com domains are simply more popular, easier to remember and generic than something like .info (which is often associated with spam sites). Therefore, if you’ve elected to go with a hosting service outside of your country, make sure they don’t assign you a local TLD. For example, if your business is located in New York, but you host in the UK, you probably don’t want your site to be http://www.examplesite.co.uk. Keeping your TLD generic makes it more accessible. Regardless, you can use Google’s Webmaster Tools to associate your site with a particular country (if necessary) which will help promote your site’s rankings in that country.
5. The Disadvantages? …Well, None.
Many companies are hesitant to try out cloud computing, they might not be tech savvy, don’t understand it or just think it’s a scam. In reality though, cloud hosting of domains has pretty much no disadvantage: you get speed, reliability, and so long as you’re hosting in the same country you’re not causing any problems to the potential search engine rankings of your page. Google employees have come out and endorsed cloud computing publicly. In fact, if you’re using Google Docs in your profession to share work with coworkers, you’re already using a form of cloud computing. Cloud computing seems to be our future, and it’s a bright one at that.
About the Author: Ricardo Casas is the CEO and Founder of Fahrenheit Marketing LLC, an Austin, TX based Internet Marketing company. With a decade of experience in the industry, Casas is constantly on the forefront and knowledgeable on the ever-changing field of SEO.
License: Creative Commons image source