Malicious Websites Who Share Your IP Address Could be Destroying Your Reputation
Your website could be in danger and your good name might be in jeopardy.
More than likely, your website shares an IP address with dozens, hundreds, and possibly thousands of other websites. Any one of those websites could be operating in a negative fashion that harms your website's integrity because search engines have difficulty distinguishing between the multitudes of websites that share the same IP Address. Therefore, when search engines mark a website as malicious, every other website that shares its IP address suffers as well, leading to devastating consequences.
We will explain exactly how this works and all of the possible outcomes to sharing an IP address with other websites, as well as how to fix issues that might arise, so that you do not find yourself in the dark.
First, do you want to know who shares an IP Address with your website, so you can begin your investigation immediately? It is simple, really. You can find the relationship between your website and the others located at the same IP address by taking your domain name or IP address and doing a quick reverse IP lookup. By using the Reverse IP/DNS at whoisxmlapi.com, you can find out how host names and IP addresses relate to one another using the largest constantly updated database in the world, which uses billions of existing records.
Your IP Address is a Large Complex that Houses a Legion of Other Websites
Just like every other website in the world, your website is hosted on a web server. The server that hosts your website runs specialized software that distributes your site's content as you request it. Typically, each web server has ONE IP address, which is a numeric identifier given to that ONE machine on the entire Internet.
However, instead of a numeric IP address, which are not memorable or distinguishable, websites are assigned domain names, too, which are strings of text that make website names easy to remember and identify like "amazon.com."
Having a unique textual identifier that helps market your website in an efficient way is certainly the way to go. If we used IP addresses instead of domain names, we would be typing in 172.16.0.23 every time we wanted to access Amazon.com, because that is the IP address of Amazon's DNS server. Another reason we use domain names is because the IP address of your website could change if the web server changes, but the domain name will never change, reducing confusion across the Internet.
Until HTTP Version 1.1 was adopted in 1999, every IP address was linked to only one domain name. After the release of 1.1, multiple domains could be hosted on a single IP address without confusion.
Now, according to a Harvard study, more than 87 percent of active domains share the same web server, meaning that they share an IP address with at least one other domain, and more than two-thirds of those domains share a server's IP address with 50 or more other websites, and many share space with as many as 200 or more.
Moreover, the study found one IP address that "hosts 82,290 small sites ranging from gutter installation to sports cards to weight loss services," and another that "hosts 1,962 larger sites, ranging from carpet care to management consulting to non-profit research centers."
What? That is A LOT of websites sharing one IP address. Outrageous, right?
Therefore, unless your domain is attached to a "dedicated" server, you are sharing an IP address with numerous other websites, so the question becomes, who are your neighbors? In other words, who is sharing a server with you, and are the companies that share this complex with you entities in which you want to be associated?
Sharing a Server and IP Address Can Cause Poor Performance
Think of your server environment as an apartment "residence." When you live in an apartment, you never know who might be living next to you. Similarly, in a shared hosting environment, numerous businesses become your anonymous neighbors, and they share all of the resources within the server's environment from CPU time to memory and disk space.
Therefore, your website might experience intermittent poor performance because of the burden of large loads by big databases and CPU processes of companies that share your server. In addition, you might experience intermittent email delivery issues because of spam complaints against other companies that share your server. Furthermore, your website might experiences downtime caused by a DDoS attack against another company on your server.
Sharing a Web Server Can Cause SEO Complications
Normally, IP sharing is transparent, but it may reduce your search engine optimization (SEO). Search engines like Google increase a site's search ranking based on the number of links pointing towards a website. In order to inflate a website's popularity, a devious company could generate hundreds of websites with little to no content that link to a specific domain name.
One method that search engines use to detect this undesired behavior and keep search results organic is to see if the interlinking sites have the same IP address or IP address range. If this is the case, search engines devalue all of the websites hosted on the same IP address or range, and your website could be one of them, unbeknownst to you.
Sharing a Web Server Can Cause Website Filtering Complications
With so many sites sharing a single IP address, IP-based filtering efforts by search engines are bound to produce "overblocking." Overblocking is the accidental denial of access to websites that abide by the stated filtering rules because ANOTHER website at the same IP address contains some form of adult or other explicit content. When this occurs, the filtering system blocks all other websites hosted on that IP address as well, regardless of their content.
Unfortunately, research has shown that overblocking is not atypical, and that a single server and its IP address often host a mixture of sites that are sexually explicit along with sites conducting regular mainstream business.
Search engines block websites from search results for numerous reasons, and some of the reasons are because of government regulation. In many of these cases, router-level filtering disables access to the guilty IP addresses, even when the IP addresses host additional websites with no nefarious content.
Another issue is that you could be sharing an IP address with a phishing website. These websites trick users into clicking links that take them to fake websites that host malware or capture user’s login credentials. Search engines blacklist these websites and often the IP addresses that serve them.
A Tool to Detect Suspicious Websites Who Share Your IP Address
The simple Reverse IP/DNS tool at whoisxmlapi.com comes in handy for detecting suspicious websites that share the same server, and consequently, the same IP address. Protect your brand and improve your security by identifying any malicious or blacklisted websites that could be slowly eroding your reputation and reducing the amount of traffic that you see on a daily basis.
The Reverse IP/DNS tool at whoisxmlapi.com helps with the following:
- Reverse IP/DNS API identifies all of the websites that share your IP address, so you can ensure that you are not sharing a server with a website that lowers your search engines ranking and negatively influences email delivery.
- Reverse IP/DNS API improves your website's security by identifying malicious, spamming, and phishing websites that share the same server with you, so that search engines do not blacklist your IP address and your domain.
- Reverse IP/DNS API identifies an attacker's host names during or after an intrusion incident.
- Reverse IP/DNS API ensures that your website’s IP address is not being used by any other website if you are paying for a dedicated server.
- Reverse IP/DNS API reveals how many sites share your server to avoid oversubscription of the server's resources, which reduces the download speed of your website and reduces traffic and conversion rates.
- Reverse IP/DNS API creates an inventory of all the websites owned by a large organization or can track the domains at your competitor's IP address.
Do you know your website's neighbors? The websites that share your web server and IP address should not be a mystery. It takes years to build a solid reputation and a top spot in search engine results, and the websites that share your IP address can destroy it quickly if you don't keep track of them by regularly doing a Reverse IP to eradicate any potential dangers that linger in the waiting.