2019 The Year Of The Server – Lets look at SEO Hosting

Well, it’s the last post of 2018 and I was thinking to myself what is going to be next year’s big shift. Looking at the direction Google has driven us over the past few years and more so late last year. Speed has become such a huge optimisation factor that even if you had the best content, you may not rank well in search if your website took too long to load. Today a website with lesser quality content and link profiles could rank higher if their website responded faster than yours. Ok, it’s not quite as simple as that, and that may not read as clear as I would like.

Let’s break this down. Google’s latest mobile first algorithm has made loading time a huge SEO factor and this alone can have a detrimental impact on your website. At the moment SEO’s everywhere are reducing file sizes, compressing CSS and Javascript, and optimising images to help get a faster load time for their clients. But think of this, there has to be a time where we can’t get any smaller. You can only make an image so small, and unless we are willing to revert to a text-only internet, which isn’t going to happen anytime soon. Then there has to be a stopping point.

The rise of SEO hosting

So could this be where servers will come to power? Hosting companies already are offering “SEO hosting” which let’s face it… they are just fast servers… but of course, it will improve your site’s ranking. So you can’t question their sales tactics. At the time of writing this article, there are 179  million companies targeting this exact keyword. So it is clearly a service that is on the rise. Do you need to start switching to bigger servers? Well not necessarily, luckily data centres are noticing they are losing customers because of this and so many are boosting the speed of their hosting packages.

Furthermore, as computing power increases and becomes mainstream as do our servers. The chances are your current host is more than enough. You will know if you need a new server if you find your website slow and almost unresponsive and you have exhausted all other website speed techniques. Remember there are a lot of software options and enhancements that can achieve an almost perfect loading time.

So does this mean you just strip everything from your beautiful website in SEO?

Well, that is one tactic, yes, and many will do this. This will result in a much less cluttered web and faster download speeds for all. However, in some instances, you need to keep some assets. So it’s about being selective with your resources. Balancing design vs technical speed in the aid of SEO. There are a few alternative options such as to defer loading of your resources so it doesn’t impact the first-page preview. This is to keep above the fold content (viewable content on the screen before the user scrolls down) to ensure a good user experience. Another option is to use CDN’s if you are targeting areas outside of your server location. This option isn’t always required unless you have global users.  The most successful option is to completely strip the site of resources that are not needed. Many javascript libraries carry hefty file sizes and yet most of the time only to add a design element that could easily be achieved with a little CSS or a smaller more refined script.

So to sum up, it seems servers are going to play a big part to your site’s performance, and technical SEO is only growing more complex as the years go by. However, if 2018 has taught us anything, it’s that although all this extra work and effort that’s needed to rank a website, (I may well get slated for saying this) but it is pushing the web in a better direction. A faster, more usable responsive internet. That is rich in content and quality. Search engines respond with relevant and useful information quickly. It is empowering us all, and for the greater good. Although still a pain in the *** for any website managers. With voice search becoming an ever-growing tool and with audiences via this medium growing faster and faster daily. This will all be leading into that avenue with fast rich content to allow for speedy instant results.

Let us know what you think in the comments.

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