Tag Archives: ip address

shared ip address seo harm

Yahoo & Bing Dropped Your Website? The Dirty Truth About Shared Hosting

One day I noticed that my site wasn’t showing up on Yahoo when I searched for “Chairman Meow.” I knew that was a red flag, so I tried a few more search terms. Still nothing. Then, I checked my other sites under the same account. All of them missing. It didn’t take me long to realize that my site(s) had been dropped by Yahoo and their partner Bing.com, and something weird was happening.

I’m not part of any paid-linking or “black hat” SEO schemes, and I don’t really do anything “shady” online, so why was my site dropped by Yahoo?

Has Your Site Been Dropped By Yahoo / Bing?

Try doing a search for your domain name on Yahoo.com. If you don’t see your site come up, you may have been dropped. If it has, you’ll likely see your Facebook page, or an obscure page or two from your site might turn up in search results instead. So, was your site unfairly dropped?

If you’ve been paying a guy in the Ukraine to do your SEO work, or send out spam emails by the thousand, you probably aren’t an innocent victim. Your site was probably dropped for the same reason they throw certain characters out of bars and NASCAR events. However, if you play by all the rules, consider taking action immediately to get back in search results.

Site Dropped for No Reason? Your Shared Hosting Plan May Be to Blame

If you’re paying under $50 a month for hosting, (like most of the masses) you’re on what is called, “shared” hosting. With hosting companies like GoDaddy, your site is on a server with hundreds of other sites, all with the same IP address. (the unique 11-digit number /address of each server) When one of the sites on your server starts behaving badly, Yahoo / Bing will likely block the whole server, even with WordPress hosting.

That means that your blog about “knitting patterns” and “photos of kittens” will be penalized because it’s on the same server as “DonkeyPorn.xyz,” because to Yahoo, you look the same!

Oh, no! What Other Sites Are on My Server / IP Address?

shared ip address blockedEver sit on a wet, sticky public toilet seat? That’s how I felt when I took a look at who else I was sharing a server with. There were hundreds of sites, and a few stood out as being shady. Clearly one of these dirty sites was the culprit, and to blame for my site being dropped.

You can do a reverse IP lookup online to find out who you are “in bed” with here. Just type in your site domain:

In my case, I got a message saying:

“It appears that the web server located at 123.456.78.910 may be hosting one or more web sites with explicit content. The web sites in question are highlighted in red below. There is a possibility that all of the web sites on this web server may be blocked by web filtering software. Search engine rankings for these web sites may be affected as well.”

Still in shock, I called GoDaddy to inform them of this news. “Do you realize you are hosting my website with a bunch of porn sites?” To which they replied that they have no control over what people put on their websites, and don’t have a screening process. What?!

Contacting Yahoo / Bing for Re-inclusion?

You might have better luck finding a personal email address for Taylor Swift than a helpful contact email on Yahoo.com. Before trying to contact them, I suggest you try to fix the root problem first. Paying for hosting on your own “dedicated” server is expensive and can cost $200+ month. So, to separate yourself from these bad actors, try getting a dedicated IP address.

Buy a Dedicated / Static IP Address

If you use one of the big hosting companies like GoDaddy or HostGator, adding a dedicated or “static” IP address to your hosting plan should be easy, and cost about $6/month. You should be able to log-in and do it yourself, and the transition should be simple. Contact your hosting company with any specific questions if it’s not obvious.

Contact Yahoo through Bing Webmaster Tools

Once you have a new IP address, you can either wait and watch search results, or contact Yahoo / Bing to tell them what happened. Yahoo’s customer support is notoriously bad, but since their merger with Bing, they offer webmasters a nice set of tools and help through Bing Webmaster Tools. It’s an easy sign-up, and let’s you look under the hood at how Yahoo / Bing view and index your site.

If you need to contact them, signup for Webmaster Tools, verify your site, and go to “Bing Webmaster help and How-to,” and click under “getting help & support” on “webmaster support.

bing yahoo contact site dropped

 

In my case, (not knowing why my site was dropped) I went through this process backwards and contacted Bing first, before getting a new IP address. They actually responded 2 days later. Within a week they confirmed that my IP address was being blocked due to spam originating from another site on my shared server.

Here’s the response from Bing Microsoft Customer Support
We highly appreciate your patience as we review this matter together with our Product Group. My name is Jenny and I will be providing you with the status of this Service Request.

We would like to inform you that the webserver that your site exists on is blocked by our bots due to Spam and the whole IP was crushed…

My Site Started to Reappear On Yahoo Search Within a Week

Bing webmaster support quoted that it would take “a week or two” to be back in search results, and as I type this, my .net site is slowly trickling back onto Yahoo search results a week after getting a dedicated / static IP address. This whole fiasco has lasted about a month so far!

Don’t Risk Bing Dropped By Yahoo / Bing; Get a Dedicated IP Address for SEO

Google doesn’t see to block entire IP addresses the way that Yahoo / Bing does, but getting dropped by Yahoo /Bing is serious. Together they account for a significant 29% off search traffic.

In my opinion, anyone maintaining a website or blog should have a dedicated IP address. It’s cheap insurance against being dropped because of the actions of someone else online. It’s also included with an SSL certificate, (which gives your site an “https:” url) and a layer of security if you collect information or take payments. If your site or blog is run on WordPress, consider managed wordpress hosting from a specialist like WP Engine Hosting.

wi fi safety public

Use a VPN to Staying safe on Public Wi-Fi (Um, What’s a VPN?)

public wi fiProtect yourself on public wifi with a VPN: If you’ve never heard of, or indeed used, a VPN (virtual private network) before now, never fear. The truth of the matter is that a whole bunch of people just don’t know what these things are. When you ask them about a VPN, they stare at you with a look of sheer bewilderment.

That’s fair enough; the point is, though, that you don’t have to be super techy to know what one of these things is. In fact, it could really help you to educate yourself so that you can protect your private information from online thieves. Yikes. Here’s what you need to know.

Why is public WiFi dangerous? (would you like identity theft w/ that latte?) 

vpn public wifi coffee shop

Whether you’re in a coffee shop, bar or a shared working situation, you might login to a public WiFi hotspot. Most of us use this type of free internet all the time without ever thinking about it. But wait, maybe we should. You see, open WiFi hotspots can actually be extremely dangerous especially when it comes to our personal data. While you’re surfing away, checking your emails, or chatting to pals online, someone could be watching you.

Even amateur hackers can get their hands on freeware that helps them to spy on people. At the touch of a button, they can take a look at your communications and, yes, steal your personal information. You probably hear about hacking scandals all the time in the media, but never think that it could happen to you.

When you’re on a public network, though, you’re under serious threat. It’s crucial that you do something to protect yourself. Also, consider a backup solution like Carbonite (get a coupon) in case things really go awry and you lose or are locked out of your files. Yikes!

What is a VPN and why do you need one?

Helpful 4 minute video explains what a VPN is

VPNs have been around for quite some time, yet few people know how to use them. So, first of all, let’s address what they actually are. VPN stands for “virtual private network”. When you start using one, you can hide your location and information from those around you, even if they happen to be using the same network as you are. The VPN masks your Internet protocol (IP) so that from that moment on, no one can trace where you are. Simple. Right?

So, why do you need a VPN? Well, in short, when you’re doing things online like shopping or communicating, you want things to be as secure as possible. When people can trace you, it means that they may also have access to your information. Using the VPN means that that is no longer possible. In simple terms, if they can’t find you on the public network or WiFi hotspot, there’s just no way that they can access your information.

The moment you begin masking your location and identity, you can be sure that you are safe. Most people have no idea where to start with this kind of thing, but the truth of the matter is that it’s really extremely easy. All you need to do is make sure that you prepare yourself ahead of time. That way, you will never have an issue in the future.

But wait, what does a VPN actually do?

If you’re still a little perplexed, never fear. We will go into what a VPN actually does right here and break everything down for you as easily as possible. Once you start using a VPN, it will make a data tunnel between your local network and an exit node somewhere else. (The location of the node really doesn’t matter all that much; what matters is that it’s nowhere near where you are! It could be another state or, indeed, another country altogether.)

vpn public wifi security

When users or hackers try to view your network and where you are, no information will be available to them. So, if you happen to be in a coffee shop, using the public network, and a hacker decides to attack the people on that network with some nasty creepware, you will not be affected. Your network just will not be visible to the hacker, and so you will be 100% safe. Hurrah.

Are there any negatives to using a VPN?

There are a small number of websites or apps that might not work properly if you are on a VPN, so it’s good to have a backup browser.

Also, due to the encryption process, it might slow down your internet connection slightly., However, during peak hours visitors to popular sites like youtube report that their VPN connection is actually faster than the regular wi-fi connection. Go figure?! 

How to choose a VPN quickly and easily

So, since there are loads of VPNs on the market, which should you choose? Well, one of the best is the Norton WiFi Privacy (get coupon), which you may have heard great reviews of before now. Of course, there are many options available to you.

Before you opt for a VPN, ask these crucial questions:

  1. Is your privacy protected? The entire point of you using a VPN is to protect yourself, and so you want to be sure that the service is not logging your activity too. Look into the privacy settings and make sure that there is a ‘no log’ service promise there.
  2. Is there a data limit? You don’t want to have any limits when it comes to browsing the net. Sadly, some VPN services set data limits. It’s worth checking out their terms ahead of time to see that you have just what you need.
  3. Can you use different devices? It’s not just about laptops these days. From tablets to smartphones, we all have a bunch of things that we can use online. Ensure that you can use the VPN across all your devices so that you’re always safe when browsing!

Once you have asked and, indeed, answered these questions, it’s time to get started. Remember, using a VPN is the smartest thing you can do and it just makes sense. Happy surfing!