Running a server in which you rent out space to other webmasters has become more prevalent in todays web hosting world. This is most commonly done by either purchasing dedicated servers or through reseller programs. However, there comes a time when renting out your space to a client is very dangerous and can actually risk threats to your server and even other sites in the same cluster. Whenever someone is doing something unethical or of high risk it can affect everyone on your server. In this article I will talk about what can’t be tolerated on your reseller account and dedicated server, and ways in which you should handle these unfortunate events.
Blackhat SEO is something you never want to take part in even though it can be tempting for quick search engine results. It can get you de-indexed from Google and even penalize a cluster of sites on the entire server. As a server administrator you need to make sure your clients are not using Blackhat methods to boost their rankings in Google. Below are a list of Blackhat techniques that will get you banned.
Link Farms – For a lot of webmasters it can be appealing to use an automated tool to generate thousands of links to your site within a couple weeks. There are hundreds if not thousands of these schemes or applications available on the Internet, which all promise to be undetectable. However, anything automated can get you de-indexed from Google altogether. In black and white a link farm is identified as a cluster of webpages that all link the same way. Google has an intricate algorithm which can identify these unnatural forms of link building. Getting links through link farms will surely get you banned from Google and even banned from your web hosting provider.
Cloaking – One of the dirtiest and undetectable ways in which you can boost your rankings in Google. If you get caught doing this your site will be banned, no questions asked. What cloaking does is manipulates the search engine algorithm in order to show the visitors one thing, and the search engine something quite different. It is almost like “invisible text” that you can’t even view even if you view the HTML code.
Doorway pages – Not to mistaken with cloaking doorway pages are also a great way to get your site banned from Google altogether. What these will do is redirect the user without them knowing, usually using some form of cloaking in order to manipulate the index of Google. Common ways in which doorway pages are created is by keyword stuffing to increase your search engine rankings.
Buying Links – Buying links are another no-no clearly stated in Googles TOS. Any links that you do buy for advertising should be nofollow links which do not pass any Pagerank or link juice to your site. With the hype of buying links, link brokers have been operating for a number of years. What they do is sell you links for a monthly rate and claim to be Google friendly. However, the reality of the matter is these link brokers are eventually identified by Google and the links that are purchased can be discredited, altogether. Buying links is a very hot debate on Internet marketing forums and amongst SEO gurus.
These are just a handful of the Blackhat seo ways which can get your site banned from Google. There are numerous other ways in which you can manipulate the system and get penalized for. Furthermore, you can even get in trouble with your hosting provider if you implement these strategies into your website. Google can reinstate your site into their index, but it can take several months to get reindexed once you have been sandboxed.
There are two ways in which your site can crash a server and you need to make sure you are staying clear of these fallacies. If you fail to comply with these two major issues you could risk getting your service terminated.
Using To Many Resources
Using resources on a server can be identified as the amount of RAM and CPU that is being allocated to you. If you are hogging all the resources on a server, other sites hosting on the same server can be bogged down. In extreme cases they can even become down for extended amounts of time. Servers have a physical capacity in which they can handle and are usually integrated with server redundancy, which evenly distributes the workload over a number of servers. Here are some reasons on why your website might be using to many resources:
⁃ Security Issues which leave your site easy to hack.
⁃ A spike in traffic with multiple periods of a substantial amount of traffic.
⁃ Out dated scripts/coding/widgets/plugins or poorly written code with multiple bugs.
Too Many Processes Crash Servers
Commonly, process limits are directly related to script usage. Scripts act in a way which is very dynamic and when the visitors land on your site they request information from a database. Websites that use WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal operate in this way with their CMS (content management system). The three processes used from these resources are database connections, RAM usage, and CPU usage. MySQL is a prime example of a database that is utilized to managed these scripts. As mentioned above servers do have a physical number of resources and yes processes they can run at the same time. Processes usually open and close within several seconds, but by having thousands of MySQL databases on one small server you can cause a dreaded “database connection is down” error message or even a “process limit” or “resource usage” error.
Telling A Customer To Go Elsewhere
Now lets turn the tables and look at the situation from a server administrators perspective. Obviously, if one of your clients on your server is using unethical tactics of SEO (Blackhat) it can affect everyone else on the server. Google can identify neighborhoods or virtual neighborhoods which if deemed on your server can cause a major headache. Using to many resources and processes are liable to affect everyone’s site on the server. The end result will be tons of upset customers and will be detrimental to your name or service. There comes a time when you have to tell someone that you can’t do business with them anymore. You will need to do this professionally.
Clearly state the reason you feel they are hurting your server or could potentially be a threat to others websites hosted on your server. Give them an ample amount of time to backup their site (unless the violation is of dire concern). In order to protect your server and integrity as a server administrator you should always protect yourself with a well thought out TOS. In this terms of service you need to identify that you can’t tolerate any Blackhat and unscrupulous acts (adult related material, gambling, or illegal activity) on your server. If found out about you have a zero tolerance policy and will be forced to disable the violators service without any reimbursement of payments.