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Server Affecting Sites?


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8 replies to this topic

#1 adibranch

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Posted 01 May 2009 - 06:53 AM

hi all, i do a few sites for clients, but i've got a handful i've always struggled with, and i can never find the reason. The results for these sites seem to be random (more so than just an odd two or three places here and there). Some times were talking drops of thirty places plus or minus, for terms or pages i havent even touched for a few weeks. These sites have always puzzled me as to why i cant make a decent mark on them , despite the techniques involved being the same as my other sites.

It occurred to me yesterday that all these sites reside on the same dedicated server belonging to someone i used to work for (he contracts the SEO to me). Now, i KNOW this server is slower than it should be, and it also has an infected site on it (not one i optimise for).
Could this server be the reason? could the slow response time be causing random drops in traffic (perhaps the bots are timing out on random pages)? or could an infected site cause google to penalise ALL other sites on the server?

Anyone seen this before?

Thanks..

#2 NASA

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Posted 01 May 2009 - 06:57 AM

QUOTE
or could an infected site cause google to penalise ALL other sites on the server?
If G! did I think there would be an outrage.

You cannot penalise a server , especially if its shared hosting, the only way I can see a server being banned if G! finds all the sites on the server are the same person doing the same bad things.

How easy it is for G! to work this out, who knows, if they can work it out, they will do it, but I cannot see them blanket penalising a server where it is shared hosting.

#3 adibranch

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Posted 01 May 2009 - 07:06 AM

its a dedicated server so all sites have the same IP, but yes, i suppose on a site by site basis it is shared, and a lot of whois all carry the same registrant info. I only look after about four sites out of around 80 on there.
The server is slow, not updated, and not secure. He doesnt look after it. The problem is that i've already moved three sites of it recently for other reasons, and i know he's going to get the ump if i suggest his server is rubbish.

What about slow response times? on a site with high SQL requests such as oscommerce, it takes between 4-8 seconds to parse a page., although the average is beween 1-2 seconds for a standard CMS site, up to a max of around 6 seconds according to stats. What i'm thinking is if slow , random or timed out response times will cause poor serps results, as the site will be seen as unreliable.
I dunno.. just knocking a few ideas round, but i cant work it out.

#4 NASA

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Posted 01 May 2009 - 07:16 AM

QUOTE
its a dedicated server so all sites have the same IP
yes, but if it is hosting more than one website, then it is shared hosting!

A website is not an IP address, a webserver is an IP address.

QUOTE
The server is slow, not updated, and not secure. He doesnt look after it.
Then get your clients sites off it pronto, you can't run a professional company based on that type of dodgy hosting, ok maybe you can, but I wouldn't.

QUOTE
What about slow response times? on a site with high SQL requests such as oscommerce


Depends on why it's slow, is it a crappy server and crappy specs, is it a pathetic internet connection? is it plugged into a datacenter OC3 connection?

How much traffic is it serving? What SQL are you running, how much data is parsed with each query.

There are many reasons for it being slow, you need to look at each part in the sites 'flow' and see where the bottle necks might be.

#5 adibranch

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Posted 01 May 2009 - 07:37 AM

i knew what you were getting at with the shared thing smile.gif But IP's are used in algo's , although mainly as a flag for linking sites. Having said that i know he runs an interlinking links page on every site, with a lot of sites pointing to all other sites on that server.

The problem is i cant just get the sites off it, i'm contracted to do the SEO by him for his customers, so my sites are his sites. this is why i need to be sure about whether or not the server is the problem before i approach him.. i guess i'l never know for sure. I've moved sites off it before, and seen an improvement over time, but i recently moved one and have not seen an improvement, but its only been a month or two since it moved.

I dunno.. i'm clutching at straws, but it just seems odd that all sites i struggle with are on this server. Basically, the question is, has anyone seen evidence of slow reponse times causing bad serps.

#6 1dmf

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Posted 01 May 2009 - 08:17 AM

QUOTE
has anyone seen evidence of slow reponse times causing bad serps.
Well it is possible, if a lot of pages aren't returning a 200 OK status or timing out , this can cause a site problems.

I've seen this happen to one of my sites before, but as I moved host at the same time and have a GEO location problem, it's difficult to assign cause & affect.

I noticed a drop in traffic / serps , and put it down to site hosting change, but the new host contacted me the other day and disabled one of my scripts as it was using excessive server CPU, turns out i'd made a stupid mistake porting over from windows to *nix and the script was hanging / timing out, which I have resolved and await to see if my SERPs pick back up.

But because it was a double whammy, I can't be sure what the drop in SEPRs was truely accountable to.

Randy is much more of an expert on headers and status codes, he might be able to confirm that bad responses / failure to return 200 OK , indicates problems that the SE's would use to change your SERPs.

#7 Randy

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Posted 01 May 2009 - 08:38 AM

QUOTE
Basically, the question is, has anyone seen evidence of slow reponse times causing bad serps.


Yes it can. It's a bit rare to see since most servers these days are fairly powerful machines and most are managed well to make sure nothing gets too overloaded, but it does happen.

Think of it from the search engines perspective. Their main goal is to point their users to Quality sites. Quality takes on many forms, including whether a site can actually be viewed and surfed. So if the server is timing out constantly and failing to deliver pages it's sensible to expect a ding to the site's Quality score.

The server admin may want to take a good, hard look at what's happening on the server to figure out why it's timing out. It sounds like it's a database problem. Since all of the sites share MySQL and share resources if there is just one site that is coded badly if can affect every site on the server. If it's a *nix platform there's a little app out there called MyTop on Jeremy Zawodny's site (of Yahoo fame) that will allow the server admin to watch all MySQL requests in real time to nail down the inefficient db queries.

I've seen this one before, most notably with x-cart installations on sites that get a decent amount of traffic. My patchwork solution for that situation was to force the offending site to pay extra, get a database (only) server for them to use and to offload all of their MySQL calls to this secondary server. Their site still runs slower than optimal, because of the way x-cart does things combined with the amount of traffic they get, but at least it no longer affects any of the other domains on the shared hosting server.

#8 adibranch

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Posted 01 May 2009 - 09:17 AM

yes you're right the server is slow in the mysql.
x-cart is OSC based right? quite a few od the sites on his server use OSC, and i know two of them are using an SQL intensive menu (yahoomenu) which i found triggered temporary IP bans when i moved a similar site over to my own server due to the massive amounts of requests it generates whenever someone uses the site.
However, when i have transferred any of these OSC sites over to my own VPS, they run fast as anything, suggesting an underlying problem with the server or the pipe provided by the host.

Anyway.. i think i'll go down the route of asking him to investigate it, which he wont, and he'll ask me for evidence of my findings. I cant provide any directly, so it'll carry on, and eventually i'll lose the contracts as i'm not promoting the sites well enough..

Oh well.. thanks for the replies all.. at least it gives me something to go on.

#9 Randy

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Posted 02 May 2009 - 10:54 AM

No, I don't believe x-cart is OSC based. Or if it was at one time it's been so long ago that any connection has been lost.




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