We have just upgraded our web hosting to a VPS cloud through www.vps.net and the website is now running 4 times faster than our old shared host environment. I was noticing that our old site speed statistics started getting worse and worse.
One of the troubles with shared hosting sites is that when another site on the server gets a spike of traffic or just increases over time, it takes resources away from your site.
The cloud hosting has ended up being much cheaper than a dedicated site which was the other alternative, but still very affordable.
One of the things that was preventing me in upgrading to a cloud host was the incorrect assumption that a site focusing on Australia needed to be hosted in Australia as well. I found out that Google do not take into account the hosting location if the site is com.au. They only use the hosting location if the site is .com. So we should still rank well for google.com.au searches.
You can also specify your target market in Google Webmaster Tools, but the strength of that specification is not clear (ie. they might ignore it if they want to).
The other reason to upgrade was that site speed is now included in the Google search algorithm, but the influence is not expected to be major for most sites. Our site was getting so slow, it could have been a factor for us.
If you want to find out more about our experience with cloud hosting and vps.net, leave a comment below.