I hear that there was recently a discussion on a NANOG (North American Network Operators Group) email list about virtual hosting vs. dedicated IP addresses. They were commenting on the misconception that having multiple sites hosted on the same IP address will in some way affect the PageRanks of those sites. There is no PageRank difference whatsoever between these two cases (virtual hosting vs. a dedicated IP). Someone on the email discussion already dug out this Slashdot interview from mid-2003 with Craig Silverstein, Google’s Director of Technology. I refer to question 5, in which someone asked
Why in this day and age does google continue to penalize sites that are virtual hosted? With ip addresses becoming harder to get/justify every day why does google discount the relevance of links that don’t come from a unique ip address. Please don’t just deny it, I think the Internet community deserves an explanation.
Craig’s reply was as follows:
I can’t just deny it? What are my other choices? 🙂 Actually, Google handles virtually hosted domains and their links just the same as domains on unique IP addresses. If your ISP does virtual hosting correctly, you’ll never see a difference between the two cases. We do see a small percentage of ISPs every month that misconfigure their virtual hosting, which might account for this persistent misperception–thanks for giving me the chance to dispel a myth!
I’m happy to affirm that this statement which was true in 2003 is still true now. Links to virtually hosted domains are treated the same as links to domains on dedicated IP addresses.