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  1. #1
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    Smile Hosting as it relates to SEO
    Good afternoon,

    I'm a newbie/baby affiliate marketer & attempting to make the best hosting decision in order to prevent further headaches down the road.

    I've put together a site offered thru a well known affiliate marketer who is encouraging me to host the site with him. Problem is he's more expensive than anyone I've seen.

    I've been told that it would be to my benefit because I would have my own domain name/actual URL thru him which search engines love; rather than have it hosted somewhere else and have to use the affiliate URL which (as he says) many search engines ignore.

    Can any of you veterans please tell me if this is true? Thank you!

  2. #2
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
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    Either he doesn't know what the hell he's talking about, or he's blowing smoke up your butt while he's trying to reach into your pocket.

    Read around the internet and learn the basic "how-to's" for starting up a website.

    You can register any domain on your own (provided that it's not already a registered name) and choose from many thousands of webhosts that are not expensive at all.
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  3. #3
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    Smile Hosting as it relates to SEO
    Thank you so much for responding David. I pretty much assumed what you said and I've seen the hosting plans that are reasonably priced, but my real question is this:

    Is he correct in saying that the search engines are more likely to ignore an affiliate URL than they are a direct URL, thereby affecting my rankings in a negative way? I know there are a number of other variables that go into SEO, but was just curious about this particular one.

    Sorry if I wasn't clear.

  4. #4
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    While his point MAY be valid as far as the Links go, that has nothing to do with hosting.

    Is he using a term like "link cloaking" in his pitch? Again, that's something you can deal with on your own site as opposed to having anything to do with hosting.

    Edited to add caps and bold to MAY. Since you're new here, I wanted to stress that the debate goes on ad nauseum as to how Google/engines feel about affiliate links. Generally, it's accepted that if your website provides a real value to visitors, the links aren't important in that regard.
    Last edited by Kevin; December 21st, 2010 at 10:14 PM.
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  5. #5
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    I've been earning a living using affiliate URLs for nearly a dozen years. (I surely hope you didn't have to pay anything to participate in whatever program it is.)

    As for avoiding headaches "down the road." You should have your own domain registrar (GoDaddy, Enom, Moniker, etc., etc.) and your own hosting - but NEVER have them both at the same place. For example, if you use GoDaddy for buying your domain do NOT use their hosting (which is a bit below par anyway). Use Hostgator, BlueHost, etc., etc. Never let one company be able hold you "hostage" if you ever need to move one service elsewhere.

    Davidh (above0 know about which he speaks. He has been doing this a long time.
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  6. #6
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    Hosting as it relates to SEO
    Thank you Bill & Kevin for your input. I hate being so "green" but assume it'll all come together in time. All your points were well taken!

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador kse's Avatar
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    Never ever let any one else contol your hosting (site) or domain name!!! Also it a good practice to have you domain name with one company and your hosting package with another as Bill has already said.
    MERCHANTS: Start showing your coupons directly on your site, that way your shoppers will stop leaving your site looking for them!! If not then remove your Coupon Box!!

  8. #8
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    SEO as it relates to Hosting
    Thanks kse....but I think I do need a little clarification. What do you mean "never let anyone control your hosting or domain name". You have to host it somewhere and register it somewhere don't you??? Unless I'm missing a big piece of the puzzle I'm a little confused. How can I control it myself?

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador kse's Avatar
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    Yes you are correct, my concern that if you hosted with the merchant then they would contol your site (or it may still be their site) as well they may contol or own the domain name as well. So my point was not to allow the "Merchant/Affiliate Manager/etc..." to have any access/control of your site or domain name.

    I have seen affiliate sites available to $300+ a year where the merchant owns the site/domain name and can take it away from you when ever they want.

    Hope that makes it more clear......
    MERCHANTS: Start showing your coupons directly on your site, that way your shoppers will stop leaving your site looking for them!! If not then remove your Coupon Box!!

  10. #10
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    if *you* register the domain name yourself through a legitimate registrar, you should be able to access the nameserver settings and ultimately point that domain to any webhost, beit from the vendor or not.

    which means you could point the NS settings to the marketer's site for now then to an independent webhost later on as you feel the need.

    but if you let someone else register the domain name for you as part of a package, you're likely giving them free reign to do whatever they wish with that domain name whenever they wish.

    so basically you want to be in a position where you go to the registrar (godaddy or whomever) and register the domain name yourself and then assign the nameserver settings provided by the marketer (or any webhost).

    and this is even assuming the marketer really meant getting yourowndomain.com and not yourownsubhost.marketersite.com
    Last edited by bradk; December 22nd, 2010 at 02:26 PM.

  11. #11
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    This guy is yanking your crank
    I have 50 sites on a $6/mo hosting plan. Some of my sites are #1 in search and some are nowhere to be found. It has to do 100% with the quality of content, how the pages are optimized for keywords and phrases and who links to them. All other thoughts for ranking are somehow related to these three things.

    Everything else is nonsense, not adsense...

    KG CA001

  12. #12
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    Unhappy Hosting as it relates to SEO
    WOW, thank you so much for all the feedback. It's gets a little clearer all the time. I'm ok so far though because I registered it today with godaddy.

    Now I just need to decide if I'm going to host it with the guy who put the pkg together for me. He's charging $10/month if paid a year up front. I think it's a little high, but I read on his forum that someone else who had also gotten his pkg tried hosting with hostgator and hasn't had their site working yet because of some technical issue that apparently hostgator hasn't been able to figure out & the owner of the pkg hasn't really been that willing to help because it wasn't hosted with him.

    I certainly don't want to end up in that boat. So that's my concern. It really stinks being at someone else's mercy when you're just learning the ropes!!!

  13. #13
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    $10 is high, especially with a year commitment. personally, I used to use hostgator myself and absolutely loved them and their tech support. I only left them to go to my own VPS (which is now on a dedicated server albeit a VPS on the server).

    bluehost also seems to come highly recommended

    i'd be willing to take my chances on either. as far as someone else 'reporting' an issue with hostgator, (a) always consider the source and (b) nothing is flawless. Just because one person has an issue doesn't necessarily mean everyone will. if everyone had issues, you'd probably be much more aware of hostgator's quality (or lack thereof, theoretically speaking) as a host service in general.

    the one serious problem with shared hosting is you never really know how many sites you're sharing that same server with. there could be, and probably are, literally dozens of them if not more (they also oversell accounts meaning they promise everyone 20GB of disk space let's say but they don't really have the space for EVERYONE to use 20GB, but since most won't even come close, they can let the few that do). I actually started out with godaddy hosting my site but after I encountered something I wanted to do in PHP that they had disabled, I moved to hostgator and could not believe how much better the site performed (because even with the best specs, every domain on a shared server has some potential impact on every other domain)
    Last edited by bradk; December 22nd, 2010 at 08:03 PM.

  14. #14
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    The big factors for seo with hosting are

    1) The neighborhood


    There may be loads of other websites (in fact there are most likely 100's if not 1000's0 on the same server or IP block as yours. If enough of them are spammy websites you could experience a penalty.

    Now I have not seen any actual empirical proof of this nor have I done any of my own testing, but it is something that is claimed a lot.

    2) The speed with which your site loads. Google has announced they will be placing more emphasis on the speed of a site as a factor in rankings. How large of an impact there will be remains to be seen. Aside from that though speed has been shown to be a big factor in getting better results for a website

    Here are the results of studies done on the impact of site speed by 3 big players.

    Google.com: +500 ms (speed decrease) -> -20% traffic loss

    Yahoo.com: +400 ms (speed decrease) -> -5-9% full-page traffic loss (visitor left before the page finished loading)

    Amazon.com: +100 ms (speed decrease) -> -1% sales loss

    I would be interested to know if any affiliate marketers have done any testing or research on the impact of page speed results on affiliate offers?

    BTW $10 a month for hosting isn't high at all, in fact for quality hosting it's very low. Especially as the guy doing it for you will be managing the hosting, rather than you going direct to a wehbhost. So his time has to be factored into that cost as well.

    I charge $200+ /year for hosting myself, more if speed is a real concern. I have clients who pay as much as $150/month for one site - though not to me, they use rackspace cloud sites. Of course you do gte what you pay for. The load times of my clients site on rackspace is obscenely fast.

    We're talking about a WordPress site that loads in less than 2 seconds and this is without caching plugins installed. I expect to see 1/2 to 1 second page load times when the sites fully live.

    That said, remember this: if you host through someone they effectively have you by the short and curlies. Moving a site isn't easy and requires they give access to the person doing the moving. I would almost always recommend hosting independently through a proper webhost. Laughing Squid and A small orange are 2 good quality, lower priced hosts I could recommend.
    Last edited by thinkinginvain; December 22nd, 2010 at 10:36 PM. Reason: clarifications

  15. #15
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
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    BTW $10 a month for hosting isn't high at all, in fact for quality hosting it's very low. Especially as the guy doing it for you will be managing the hosting, rather than you going direct to a wehbhost.
    From what the OP says about what this guy's trip is, it sounds like there's a pretty good chance that the guy who is trying to sell him hosting may just be running off of some reseller or multidomain shared hosting account somewhere.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidh View Post
    From what the OP says about what this guy's trip is, it sounds like there's a pretty good chance that the guy who is trying to sell him hosting may just be running off of some reseller or multidomain shared hosting account somewhere.
    Yes, I agree, but there is still a time cost to him. If I host for my clients on my dedicated server or through a shared hosting setup I still have to setup the hosting and manage it. It still takes time. Personally I charge $85/hour for my time so if I anticipate an hour a year spent I would add that to the hosting's costs. Then there is the time spent on invoicing and billing each year.

    For example, my actual cost on my dedicated server per site hosted is $43 per year, That covers the cost of the server itself. But then there is the time associated with setting up their hosting space on that server (+/- 1 hour), the time spent managing and updating the server (+/-3 hours per year per domain on average), maintaining security, upgrade costs, time spent on billing and invoicing and of course my desire to turn a profit after all I am in business not charity.

    When I factor all that in I end up with a $200/year figure and still feel I am undercharging

    When dealing with shared hosting its similar while you don't have the update/upgrade issues you do have the downtime, the "get in touch with support and find out whats going on" issue.

    No webhost has 100% up time. I usually spend 8-10 hours a year talking with support for one client or another.

    Its true that most people offering hosting as an addon (like web-designers) don't account for those things when calculating what they charge, that's because their doing it wrong and not valuing their time enough.

    Nothing unusual there of course, very few people actually charge what they really believe they are worth out of fear that no one would pay it.

  17. #17
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    how is this different from what any other shared hosting service does? if you pay $6/mo for hosting, they're not expecting you to SSH in and install all updates and configure the httpd.conf yourself.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by bradk View Post
    how is this different from what any other shared hosting service does? if you pay $6/mo for hosting, they're not expecting you to SSH in and install all updates and configure the httpd.conf yourself.
    How is it different to what? I am not a hosting company, I am a web designer who provides hosting as an addon, managed hosting. My clients do not have to host with me, in fact I urge them to host their own (as I did with the OP in my first post on this thread). But if they want me to host it for them which some insist upon, there is a premium to be paid for that convenience.

    Regarding the SSH, no with shared hosting your not going in through ssh and updating the server, but with shared hosting you are still spending at least a few hours a year on setup, maintenance, communicating with support, billing, invoicing and so on.

    For example, just this week I had to go in and make changes for 3 clients on their control panels of their shared hosting accounts to change the configuration of their PHP, add new email addresses and update some DNS records.

    I didn't bill for these things as its included in my hosting premium.

    Some web designers don't charge extra for this and just give that time away, others, like myself, have realized how valuable their time is (how valuable anyone's time is - I'm not particularly special) and choose to charge for that time.

  19. #19
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    I just think we're making a lot of assumptions about what's being offered here based on a small paragraph at the top. As I re-read it, I'm even thinking that what the host is offering is not even a subhost, but perhaps just a subdirectory.

    I can see your point though. Someone who has zero knowledge of the webhosting industry is probably very likely to benefit from a mentor of sorts, even if the mentor is subsidized. But going back to what OP has presented, I'm not sure this sounds like the ideal mentor.

    There may not be people who offer that add-on service and charge for it, but I think we'd both be naive to believe that there aren't people who charge more than necessary for what they deliver as well. And certainly actively trying to convince a prospective customer that it's not even worth looking at other vendors is enough to raise some eyebrows.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by bradk View Post
    I just think we're making a lot of assumptions about what's being offered here based on a small paragraph at the top. As I re-read it, I'm even thinking that what the host is offering is not even a subhost, but perhaps just a subdirectory.

    I can see your point though. Someone who has zero knowledge of the webhosting industry is probably very likely to benefit from a mentor of sorts, even if the mentor is subsidized. But going back to what OP has presented, I'm not sure this sounds like the ideal mentor.

    There may not be people who offer that add-on service and charge for it, but I think we'd both be naive to believe that there aren't people who charge more than necessary for what they deliver as well. And certainly actively trying to convince a prospective customer that it's not even worth looking at other vendors is enough to raise some eyebrows.
    I totally agree, the guy the OP is dealing with is giving questionable advice. MY point was in regards to the price she quoted: "$10/month which is a bit high". I was originally just pointing out that $10/month isn't a lot of money to spend on hosting if its managed hosting or if its quality hosting.

    In my opinion the best thing the OP could do is to get their own hosting. Then if need be pay someone to take care of uploading and setting things up. But that way they always have control as its their hosting.

    But I always advise people to get their own.

    I would recommend A Small Orange and Laughing Squid as 2 good choices for discount hosting. Both are less than $10/month as well. Plus whatever the OP pays the person who will manage things.

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