So this is another thing that often comes up when we are out speaking. We will say, “We just created a new network of sites, where we put up a hundred different sites that are all in the same niche, and they are all attacking the same niche from slightly different angles.” And inevitably, somebody in the audience will say something like, “Well, do they each have their own class C IP address? Because if not, Google treats them all as one site.”
K: Completely false.
K: Unbelievably false.
K: If you’ve done any amount of testing, you can see this is not true.
R: Yeah. I mean, we do it all the time. We have a number of different networks, sites, that are all massive, and we have no problem...to be honest, we have no problem hosting a network of sites all on the same IP address.
Yes, if there’s a manual review from Google, they can probably look at that, and tell that these are somewhat related, but at the same time, is that really that bad of a thing? Did Google ever come out and say that you’re not supposed to have multiple sites in the same niche? No, not really. As far as I know, anyway.
I mean, you’re not supposed to have multiple Adwords accounts, as far as I know. But beyond that, and trying to game that with different credit cards, and different social security numbers and stuff like that, I mean, that’s a whole other ballpark, but just having a network of sites that’s linking to each other is not a problem at all.
In fact, one of our favourite networks of sites, that we learned about back in the day, is heyneedle.com, which is a massive, extremely professional, network of sites. We’re not really sure what the deal is with them, but they’re owned by some pretty big VC company, and they have all these amazing domains like, barstools.com and what else?
K: Yeah, who knows? Like, all kinds of wonderful domains like lawnchairs and like umbrellas.com.
R: Yeah, it’s all just these consumer product names .com, that are all probably worth a million dollars each. But they just turned this whole thing into a big network. And, they all interlink into each other in very intelligent ways. Related products will hop from one page to another. You know, barstools.com will hop right to over to dartboards.com in a somewhat related play on like a crosso (?) or whatever, I don’t know.
And it works extremely well. I mean, they rank for everything. And so, we’ve kind of done a similar things with a few of our sites, where we’ll just have some of the products ranking...you’re linking to other products and other sites that are all in the same IP. And we see big jumps in our rankings from that.
K: Yeah, it’s a perfectly legitimate thing to do from a business perspective. I mean, look at it from Google. Why would Google want to say that what heyneedle is doing is bad? It makes a ton of sense that they would have multiple sites on the same IP address. I don’t think Google expects them to be locating their business in 200 different locations because they happen to sell a bunch of different kinds of products.
Now, another really obvious counter example to this is Wordpress.com. Every single blog that is hosted on Wordpress.com, which is a lot of blogs, shares from a very small pool of IP addresses. So if you’ve got your blog hosted on Wordpress.com, there are thousands and thousands of other people on that same exact IP address. And why in the world would Google want to punish people for that?
R: Yeah. And why wouldn’t they want to be using the backlinks that are coming from some of those other Wordpress blogs? I mean, if you’re really big into blogging, and there’s plenty people out there that are big into blogging, and on Wordpress.com, and they’re getting legitimate links from other bloggers that are also on Wordpress.com, why would Google not want to take that into account? Because those are legitimate awesome links.
The other thing is, if you have a domain that’s really awesome, such as barstools.com or cribs.com or something like that, why would you not want to take advantage of the type in traffic? I mean, you want to be able to use those different domains, and host those different products in there, but there’s no good reason why you should have to distribute them across class C IPs and some weird sketchy maneuver. Why not just keep them in the same IP? Whatever.
K: Yeah. I mean, look, we’re not gonna say that we have done exhaustive testing and found that it is not used as a factor anywhere at all in Google, but what we’ve found is that it is definitely not a big factor, and it’s definitely not the end-all-be-all that a lot of people make it out to be.
R: Yeah. I mean, granted, if you are doing sketchy stuff with your websites, you may very well want to split them up on different class C IPs. I’m not saying that we don’t split our stuff up on different class C IPs sometimes, but at the same time, we do have large networks that are all on the same IP, and we see no problem with that.
So, it’s really about just distributing your risk, as far as we see it. Get a number of different IPs if you want to. Get 10 IPs, but then load those IPs up with tons of websites. Don’t just put 20 sites on there, put a 100 sites on each one of them. And who cares? And until they take one of those IPs down, and I don’t think they will, keep on keeping on.
K: Yeah, we have never seen a case where Google will take down unrelated sites on the same IP address. Furthermore, we’ve seen the reverse happen. We’ve seen where Google will take down a folder on a site, but leave the rest of the site there. So if they’re willing to treat a folder as pretty much a separate site, I think you should feel safe knowing they would treat different domains on the same IP as separate.
R: Yeah. Google is not out there trying to destroy anybody who is creatively playing around with the way that they set up their domains and stuff like that. They’re only trying to stop legitimate spam. So, if you’re not creating legitimate spam, which you probably shouldn’t be, or if you are creating legitimate spam, just let it off from your illegitimate way...
If you’re creating illegitimate spam on your legitimate sites, then you’ll be fine.