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Are web hosts notorious for not knowing much about SEO?



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Are web hosts notorious for not knowing much about SEO?

So this is come about from a discussion I was having with someone today on a webmaster forum after someone posted about the best way to migrate from one CMS to another. I made the suggestion that if they haven't ever done it before, to search Google to find guides and tutorials on doing it. Because they would be made by people who have done it before and found out things they overlooked and would be able to offer suggestions and tips on how to go about actually doing it and avoid those same pitfalls. Because converting from one CMS to another can leave you with a ton of broken links and you can loose rankings and traffic because of it.

One of the other suggestions I made was to contact their web host about it and ask them about it to see if they could offer any help, support and advice on doing it. And to see whether or not they offered to do it for them. (A great web host would like mine would (if they value their customers)). I suggested that because a good web host might well have experience in doing this. They may have a Knowledge Base on doing it and they may even offer to do it for them. Considering the OP in question has no real web design or development experience and hasn't done this before. And it would also give them a way to feel out what their hosting's support was like also.

But this one guy said that it's bad advice to contact your web host about it. And that most web hosts are notoriously bad for knowing about SEO. But this isn't so much about knowing about SEO as it is knowing about web design standards. And this isn't a really tricky thing either. You have to 301 some URLs (might be a lot of URLs) and the best way to do that is server-side using the .htaccess file. That much is a no brainer for anyone!

But he said that most web hosts are notoriously bad for knowing SEO. But that's not my experience of web hosts. Most web hosts I've been with have surprised me with what they know about SEO and web design and development.

The host I'm with now for instance, they're very SEO wise and probably know much more about SEO and web design than I do. And if this was something I wanted to do, they would probably offer to do it for me. And do it the right way too!

Example wrong way of doing it would be to just redirect all the broken links to the homepage and that's just a big no no and what the 301 rule is for. Most web hosts would know this and not do that and 301 all the old urls to the new ones.

But I digress! This isn't 1990! Any web host that doesn't know about something like this as well as most of the facets around SEO today isn't really what I would call a good web host that you should be with anyway!

But how much truth is there in this? Are webhosts notorious for not knowing SEO?

Have you ever experienced that with your or any webhost?

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MasterA

This is a good question. I recently moved my forum from PhpBB to Xenforo and as a result, the indexed links are broken. I requested for my host to redirect the old URLs to the new ones. I was thinking that they would probably say no because this is not something they are required to provide and is outside the scope of support. However, it was worth a try and they ended up looking up Xenforo guides and completed the link redirect for me. I was very happy with this but I wouldn't be too upset if they said no as this is theoretically not in their scope of support. This is not really to do with SEO to be honest, this is more to do with technical knowledge as you need to write rules to redirect the URLS. I think the top hosts probably has knowledge to do this as they probably have many experienced technicians but whether or not they are going to help you is another thing.



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idealmike

Yes! Exactly! I know right! This doesn't fall into the SEO category. It falls into the technical aspect of web design and that is something that a good web host would probably be well versed in. Any long running, established and reputable web host anyway. And yes it may well fall outside of what they would usually give you support for. But some web hosts are awesome like that and to keep you happy, they would be willing and offer to do it for you. I've approached my web host before for things like this. For something exactly like this in fact as I once had to do a mammoth migration from Drupal to WordPress which I messed up badly lol and after asking my host if they had backups (I know right), they very kindly offered to do it for me as they knew how to and it was done lightening fast. I LOVE my host they are incredibly knowledgeable about all things web hosting, web design, web development etc etc etc! But they are a smart outfit. And a large organization that has many heads employed that are qualified and experienced in just about every aspect of web design and development so it's not too much for them just to assign the work to Joe who can do it in about an hour or less.

So yes, top hosts, the best ones, should know this and be able to provide some support of sorts, even if it's just some advice and tips or something. And some would do it for them if they valued that client. So yeah, if this is something you are going to do and haven't done before. Research it first but also talk to your web host about it as maybe, just maybe, if they are a good web host they will even just do it for you. Are web hosts notorious for not knowing much about SEO?

Cheers!



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Lynne

Well I don't know too much about 301 redirects or about the technical aspects of all of these things. If I were to contact my hosting company I would be very pleased if they were to assist me with any technical issues that may arise moving my CMS system. Yes it may not exactly be in their scope, but a hosting company has technical staff at their disposal and I would think that they would want to offer the best possible service by getting their technical staff to figure it out and assist.

So I wouldn't expect it but I do think in the name of customer service it would be in a hosting company's best interests to have some SEO knowledge and to get into the technical side of things to help their clients.



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Cristian

I agree most sys admins out there have no idea about SEO and they don't even care about SEO. Now that I think about it most SYS Admins I know are total as*holes so it doesn't surprise me that hosting companies don't care about SEO.

@ Lynne - 301 redirects are very important. Download Screaming Frog and run a full crawl for your website, if you find any 404 URLs make sure you redirect them 301 to the right content or the right pages (if you made changes).



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Everett

I think most website hosting companies only know their niche, servers, and hosting. Why would a website hosting company know the ins and outs of SEO? That's like saying a freelancer working on SEOclerks knows everything about Graphics, Programming, SEO, Traffic, etc.. usually they'll stick to one area they know best.

There are few website hosting companies that have people working on SEO, some companies do not even care about SEO, just look at their pages.. but somehow they are ranking in the 1st page for their targeted keywords, always beats me, but I automatically assume it's due to them spending thousands on Adwords.



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overcast

I think EIG based hosting companies like bluehost, hostgator, siteground. All are known not to pay attention to the SEO points. And that means we have to do things our own way. I think if we have to take those things on our own and host is not helping. Then in such case it is better to migrate to another host. That way many people can simply manage the SEO via the crowdsourced way for sure.



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Dibiasio26

I also have to find some nice seo services Los Angeles service within my budget. I know SEO basics but don’t have the time to run the campaign on my own so need to hire the expert service. Is there anyone who could share suggestions?



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Dibiasio26

If your host is not a specialist you’ll know by how the website is performing. Good SEO shows itself. You’ll get very genuine traffic and even if you don’t turn many clients, you’ll have the satisfaction that you had a chance. Irrelevant SEO is annoying. I myself searched a lot to find Good SEO services Los Angeles, and I’m glad I was not disappointed.



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Corzhens

Do you really think that web hosting guys should know SEO methods? My understanding of a host provider is that they have a server and connection to the gateway that they can sell the access to clients. They have to know how to backup the website and some host providers do the regular backup for free. But regarding SEO work I don’t think they have to know those things.



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