Two Out of Three Australian Web Hosts Are Not Search Engine Friendly

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Recent research by Australian search engine marketing company, Vertical Leap, has found that two out of three web hosting companies did not offer the features required to help businesses gain the top spots on internet search engines.

In a recent study undertaken by Australian search engine marketing company, Vertical Leap, it was found that more than two thirds of the web hosting companies reviewed did not offer features or services that would make it easier to get a top ranking on an internet search engine.

With the vast majority of all online activity originating from major search engines such as Google, it is essential that businesses try to achieve top positions in the search engines for keywords relevant to them. But according to Vertical Leap's Managing Director, Cameron Winslow, many "Australian businesses don't realise that the web hosting provider they select can have a negative impact on their search engine rankings".

Many Australian web hosting providers are simply reselling hosting services from other countries such as the USA. This can be acceptable if your business is primarily targeting an overseas audience, but regional versions of the search engines such as google.com.au, msn.com.au, au.yahoo.com place a preference in their search results to web sites physically located in Australia. As these are the default search engines for most users accessing the internet from within Australia, the impact on Australian businesses could be significant.

There are specific technical features that can assist a business in their search engine optimisation efforts. One such technique is called "URL rewriting" and is also missing from many web hosting providers. A benefit of URL rewriting is that it allows a webmaster to re-map a complicated website address to something that is more pleasing to the eye, easier for a user to remember, and ultimately more "search engine friendly".    

Hosting providers usually offer a choice of server platform to their users either Linux or Windows. While Linux web servers have this URL rewriting capability built-in; Windows servers do not. If a business is running its web site on a Windows platform then it may be impossible to get this feature provided by its web host despite its very low cost (many packages retail at US$99 per server).

Vertical Leap recently reviewed thirty five of the top Australian-based web hosting companies to assess their level of "search engine friendliness". They studied issues such as physical location, platform, URL rewriting, and server performance. The goal was to provide businesses and consumers with a definitive list of recommended providers.

"With so many providers and the obvious impact they can make to a company's online marketing efforts, we hope this list will be a useful resource for anyone considering their hosting options " said Winslow.

The first "Top 10" list has been released by Vertical Leap this month and is available on their website - http://www.vertical-leap.com.au. They plan to update the list quarterly to take into account new entries and any changes implemented by those providers who have not yet met their minimum criteria.

For more information about Vertical Leap and managed search engine marketing, please contact Cameron Winslow on 1300 665 323.

Vertical Leap Pty Ltd, 65 Hume Street, Crows Nest, Sydney, New South Wales,2065

Tel: 1300 665 323
Web: http://www.vertical-leap.com.au

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