What is a Separate C Class IP?

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I’m not writing this as a purely promotional post for SEOHosting (at least not entirely).  But I have seen a lot of confusion out there – especially among new website owners – about the difference between C Class IP web addresses, one of the major things offered by SEO Hosting.  It’s core to optimizing a fleet of websites.

When I first started in the SEO biz, I was in the business of creating dummy sites that would all link to the same central website.  This was early on in SEO when Google was not nearly as strict as it is today.  Creating these ghost sister sites are considered a form of spam, a variant on a link farm.  Even if the sites have original content, Google frowns on a series of sites all linking repeatedly to the same site – especially if those sites all exist on the same IP.

That last issue is the most important.  Remember, Google spiders are vigilant, but not that bright.  If the sister websites exist on different IP addresses, spiders will read these as coming from a totally different entity – i.e. it’s not a case of one webmaster trying to game the system, but separate webmasters who happen to just link to each other.  A separate C class IP address, then, allows webmasters to create a fleet of websites that interlink without being red-flagged.

At least that’s the theory.  Even if sites have similar IP addresses (a number off) Google will read these web addresses as related.  So it’s not enough for two sites to have different IP addresses, the sites need to have unrelated IP addresses.  If they don’t, creating two sites that have similar keyword structures and link to each other will most certainly cause the Google spiders to be suspicious.  That’s what separates a service like SEO Hosting: separate C Class IP’s and separate nameservers.

Be Careful with Interlinking

That said, having sites on separate servers or IP addresses does not guarantee autonomy.  You still need to be careful about too much interlinking between sites.  Even if two sites are on separate sides of the world, it is going to raise flags if all those two sites do is link to each other. This is true both for specific articles and the site overall.  You should not link to one site more than four times in a 400 word article.  Now, say, you write an article a day with four links all going to the same portal – this will raise flags, bet on it.

Even if somehow these sister sites get through the filter, you still need to be careful.  As with all blackish-hat tactics, there’s a limit to how long they can work.  Google is always updating its terms and conditions (as is every other major search engine) and if there’s currently a way to beat the system, this may not be the case a few months down the line.  In which case, this means going back into all your live sites and changing your linking strategy, which can be beyond time-consuming.

To avoid interlinking problems, you should link sporadically – pepper these links throughout the site.  In short, make the links look organic.  This should really be your modus operandi anyway:

  • House links within relevant, useful content
  • Link to quality websites
  • Don’t overuse links

This should be the case whether you’re linking a site on your own C class network or some other site within your niche.  The trouble is that people are so desperate for quality links that they overuse interlinking between sites and this can cause trouble.  This is the case even if each C Class is on a separate nameserver.  Basically, it comes down to the fact that interlinking should be no different than standard linking.  Infrequent linking still has optimization and ranking power.  Perhaps the traffic won’t be as great from the links themselves, but that should not be your priority, as most traffic comes from search engines, so search engine rank should be a much higher priority than link-generated traffic.

The Importance of Nameservers

One major thing that separates SEO Hosting from other service providers is the fact that each C Class IP is can also be used as a separate nameserver.  Make no mistake, if you have one without the other, it is virtually useless: i.e. Multiple sites with different IP’s but using the same DNS accomplishes virtually nothing.  So it is vital to have different nameservers.  One alternative is to just open up a fleet of sites at a fleet of different web hosts.  While this is possible, it’s also a lot more expensive, as all web hosts are cheaper when you buy in bulk.  It’s also easier to log—in to one CMS to manage an account.  The time spent managing a fleet of sites at different web hosts can be quite a headache.

Another important factor is Whois info.  If each domain has the same Whois information, it will be a webmaster’s “tell,” even if the websites exist on different nameservers.  Basically, you have to cover all your tracks to ensure that each websites appears as if it’s coming from a different entity.  This includes separate IP address, separate servers, separate Whois info, and the style of linking on each site.

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