The short answer is yes, web hosting does affect your SEO.
Specific factors that Google is known to include in their algorithm are speed and uptime.
Other factors such as IP neighborhood are also thought to in the algorithm, although no one knows for certain what the secret algorithm actually is.
What is an IP neighborhood?
IP neighbors are other websites that are hosted on the same IP as yours.
Websites that use Cloudflare or other DNS or CDN services are often in the same IP neighborhood. There isn’t much you can do about that.
If you host your website on a VPS or Dedicated Server, then you will have you’re own IP.
A good web hosting company should not have thousands of websites sharing the same IP, although that is now common practice at the very large web hosts that have to meet quarterly earnings 🙂
A good web hosting company should also not host adult content on the same IP as non-adult content websites.
Host Little does not host any adult websites at this point, and if we did – they would get moved to their own cluster to preserve the IP neighborhood.
How can speed and uptime affect my SEO?
Google is in the business of serving their users the best content possible. They know that their users will back out of a website if it is taking longer than 3 second to load. In fact, 53% of users exit the website if the load time is longer than 3 seconds. And a 2 second delay in load time results in an 87% increase in bounces.
So to make Google, and your users happy – they don’t serve a slow website unless they absolutely have to.
Uptime is also very important, although Google is most likely not tracking the overall uptime of your website – If your website happens to be offline when their bot comes to crawl, that will certainly ding your SEO score.
Keep these things in mind when choosing your next web hosting company! Sometimes the largest web hosts are not the most SEO friendly due to their huge IP neighborhoods.
Stay away from shady, cheap web hosting companies as they might not give you the speed and uptime Google is requiring in 2021.