One of the most common mistakes I see novice niche site owners do is host all their domains and sites with the same hosting company – and worse – on the same hosting plan. It’s important to remember that when it comes to the vital task of back link building – your own network of sites is a very valuable resource for you to use. Now before you get all excited about cross linking your sites as a violation of Googles TOS ( Terms of Service ) lets first understand how Google sees back linking.
Google has no problem with you linking to your own sites – after all you own them and you are simply linking them together. Think of it like a newspaper chain that lists all of their properties on each site of the network – does Google see this as spam link building ? Of course not.
Google only gets excited when you do things like build links from sites that have nothing to do with you or your topic in an effort to game their search results. This includes using software to build links from a bunch of spam directories or forums. If Google catches you doing this – it will then follow all the threads back through all your associated sites ( called a foot print ) and penalize the hell out of your entire network. But the key here is you are only in danger if you are being a spammer to begin with.
Taking the time to build real back links from your own sites – or guest posts on other sites etc is legitimate back link creation and will not get penalized by Google.
So what does all this have to do with C-Blocks. Well let’s start with what C-Blocks are.
What Are C-Blocks?
There is only a finite amount of IP addresses on the web. ( IP addresses are the numerical address of every site on the internet. For example, the IP address of Facebook is 188.8.131.52. Despite them being a huge property on the web – they have an IP address just like your site does – and search engines view websites as IP addresses first and then domains second.
When it comes to niche sites – they are all hosted with companies the provide web hosting services. Each web hosting company is assigned a block of IP addresses for use on their network and this tells Google if a site is hosted with Host Gator or Bluehost Etc. This also then means that if you have all your sites on Host Gator cross linking to each other – the link juice is going to be reduced because all the sites are coming from the same IP block ( or C-Block ).
I’ve seen examples where a struggling site owner has over 100 websites on the same shared plan on Host Gator. When it comes to maximizing your SEO efforts – this is dramatically reducing your entire networks potential and holding back your sites potential in the search engines.
Let me explain why this is Hurting You More than Just Having an IP in the Same C-Block.
If you are familiar with the way the file and directory structure works on a server – everything is done in directories and folders. For example on most C-Panel set ups – the actual index page of the site ( the main page of the site when the visitor comes to www.yoursite.com ) is in most cases the PUBLIC_HTML directory. In that directory, numerous other directory destinations can be added to and the domains associated to your account is simply pointed to that directory that contains all the files for your website.
For example, the path that yoursite.com domain points to would be PUBLIC_HTML/YOURSITE. If you had another site on that server – then the path would be PUBLIC-HTML/YOURSECONDSITE.
The point being that all the sites on your hosting account are under the same parent directory ( PUBLIC_HTML ) and therefore is seen as essentially the same website by Google.
If you have 100 websites on the same account – then in basic terms – Google sees this as one big website with a lot of varied content. If any of those sites are niches that Google has taken aim at such as Forex, Payday Loans, Get Rich Quick Schemes or Adult sites then your entire network is given a black eye and your SERPS will get hurt. ( SERP stands for Search Engine Results Page )
So let’s say then that you break up your sites into three different accounts with the same host. This is definitely better than having all your sites on the same host – but when you think about how IP address assignment works, then you can start to see why for maximum cross promotion and link building, having different hosting accounts with a variety of hosting companies is important for your long term success.
In my next article – I’m going to talk about strategies to divide up your domains and niche topics for maximum cross linking value.