Chapter 1

Server Issues: Why Your Server Matters

In This Chapter

  • Getting to know the servers
  • Making sure your server is healthy and fast
  • Excluding pages or sites from the search engines
  • Passing instructions to search engines with a robots text file
  • Using Meta robots tags
  • Building a customized 404 Error page
  • Avoiding dirty IPs and bad neighborhoods
  • Serving your site to different devices

Your web server is the software application or service that runs your website. (The term web server can be used to refer to both the hardware and the software that runs a website, but in this chapter, we talk about the software.) Anytime a user does something on your site, such as loads a page or views an image, your web server receives the request and serves up what the user wants. Like a good waiter in a restaurant, you want your site’s server to be as fast and efficient as possible so that your site visitors feel happy and well satisfied. This is especially important when it comes to Google as page speed is a factor in its algorithm.

Server issues impact search engine ranking, from the type of server you use to how well it performs. Search engines don’t want to present sites that frustrate users by being slow or unavailable in their results. A slow server, or a server that fails often, can cause a site to drop out of the search engine’s index (the databases of website content that Google, Yahoo, or Bing pull from when delivering search results) or prevent a site from ever being indexed in the ...

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