Google’s Mueller on Shared Hosting and Ranking Impact

A recent SEO study set out to discover if there was a negative impact on ranking on sites that were on shared hosting. John Mueller offered his opinion of the test results.

Research on Web Hosting and Ranking

An SEO company set out to do a long term study on whether shared hosting negatively affects rankings.

The article begins by stating that web hosting has SEO implications:

“…countless low-quality web design agencies will put profit over product and set clients up with lower-tier hosting sold through their own reseller accounts… without any consideration to the potentially harmful long-term SEO effects on their client’s website.”

Elsewhere the study authors reveal that they created the study with the concern of “potentially harmful SEO effects” from shared hosting.

“Concerned about the potentially harmful SEO effects that hosting a website on one of these shared hosting options could have on the websites of thousands of business owners, we decided to run a technical SEO experiment to find out what effect, if any, it had.”


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The idea is that low-cost hosting attracts low quality spam websites. The report authors suggest that maybe Google would use the presence of spammy sites on a shared server as a negative quality signal.

Here is their Hypothesis:

“With cheaper shared hosting solutions usually attracting many lower-quality websites (like spam and PBN websites), we wondered if it is possible that Google’s algorithms sees using this kind of hosting as part of the pattern of a lower-quality website.”

So it kind of seems like the authors are testing a hypoethesis that about Google, a hypothesis that is not based on any actual evidence or statement from Google to hint at it. It’s just an opinion without basis and, as you will see, it’s also based on a misinterpretation of what a “bad neighbhorhood” is.

The article went viral on Twitter and Facebook, with many prominent SEOs promoting it.


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